Virginia Agricultural Cost-Share Program
2016- 2017 VA Agricultural Cost-Share Program (VACS)
This program provides funds used to help install conservation practices that protect water quality. Funding availability varies by District. The state provides District funds to target areas with known water quality needs. Areas with the greatest need receive the greatest funding.
The cost-share program supports using numerous practices in conservation planning to treat animal waste, cropland, pastureland and forest land. Some are paid for at a straight per acre rate, while others are cost-shared on a percentage basis up to 80%. In some cases, USDA also pays a percentage. In fact, the program’s practices often can be funded by a combination of state, federal, local and even private funds, reducing the landowner’s expense to less than 20% of the total cost.
Demand for cost-share assistance is great, and Districts support the implementation of those BMPs that meet local water quality guidelines. Since all requests cannot be satisfied, priority ranking of practices must be used to make sure that money is distributed and spent wisely.
The most an individual may receive is $50,000. The state cost-share payment, combined with federal payments, will not exceed 75 % of the total eligible costs of the straight per acre rate.
This program, which began in 1998, supports the voluntary installation of BMPs that address Virginia’s NPS pollution water quality objectives. Agricultural producers with approved conservation plan can take a credit against the state income tax of 25% for eligible BMP expenses. The tax credit amount cannot exceed $17,500 or the total state income tax obligation for the given tax year, but any excess expenses can be carried over for up to five years.