Agriculture in Great Falls?

Youngkin stables
Photo credit: Fairfax County Planning Commission

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

Well, it seems as if rich folks in leftist-leaning Albemarle are not the only rich folks availing themselves of real estate tax breaks. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports today that Glenn Youngkin and his wife have saved 95% of their real estate taxes on their horse “farm” in Great Falls, the posh area of Fairfax County.

Rather than get conservation easements, which often are perpetual, the Youngkins got their property designated as an “agricultural district” by Fairfax County. Such designation lowered the real estate taxes on the property by 95%, saving them over $150,000 over the last two years. One of the conditions for the designation is that the Youngkins agreed not to develop the property for eight years.

Last year, some neighbors expressed concern that the Youngkins intended to establish a commercial operation or boarding business. Mrs. Youngkin, the applicant, assured the planning commission that it was not her intention to do that.

Be that as it may, the website for one of the properties, Normandy Farm, has this description for “Who We Are”:

“Premier, boutique barn and historic horse farm located just 18 miles from the heart of Washington, D.C. dedicated to the well-being and training of equine athletes.

With state-of-the-art facilities, full-service care, the areas top trainers and care-givers, attention to detail and a club-like environment, The Stable at Normandy Farm excels at providing a high-end, healthy environment for horses and riders alike.”

It also provides a phone number for anyone wanting information on “Boarding availability” and “Training Services.”

The Youngkin campaign told the RTD that “training and boarding on the farm is minimal.”