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Legislative Issues Archive

Preservation Virginia continues to monitor the following items:

Governor’s Budget Items

Governor Terry McAuliffe recently released his proposed amendments to the Commonwealth’s operating budget for the current biennium (FY 2014-2016).  

Priority items proposed by Governor McAuliffe include:

Land Preservation Tax Credit

  • The Governor’s proposed budget amendments include several changes to the existing land preservation tax credit.
  • Specifically, the Governor has proposed language that would, for taxable years beginning on and after January 1, 2015, limit the amount of the Land Preservation Tax Credit that may be claimed by each taxpayer to $20,000, and the amount claimed on a joint return to $40,000.  Any portion of the credit that is unused in any one taxable year because of the monetary limitation imposed may be carried over to the extent usable for the 13 succeeding taxable years or until the credit is utilized, whichever is sooner.
  • Additionally, the Governor has proposed language that increases the fee, from two to three percent of the value of the donated interest, upon any transfer arising from the sale by any taxpayer of credits and upon the distribution of a portion of credits to a member, manager, partner, shareholder or beneficiary.
  • Preservation Virginia will work to minimize the impact of any changes to LPTC but changes to the program are likely in this political and economic environment.

Rehabilitation Tax Credit

  • Preservation Virginia is pleased to report that the Governor’s proposed budget amendments do not include any change to the existing state Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit.
  • Preservation Virginia has helped to demonstrate the significant economic benefits of this tax credit, including the recent report conducted for Preservation Virginia by Virginia Commonwealth University, and has given copies of this report to the McAuliffe Administration and to all legislators.
  • Although the Governor has not proposed changes to the Rehabilitation Tax Credit at this time, this tax credit has been rumored to be a potential target of certain legislators, and Preservation Virginia will remain vigilant throughout the 2015 General Assembly session since this and other tax credits may be on the table as part of an overall budget deal. 

Items of Interest proposed by Governor McAuliffe include:

 Department of Historic Resources

  • The Governor’s proposed budget amendments reduce the appropriation to the Department of Historic Resources in the second year of the budget under the. This reduction is possible through the elimination of two positions, the Deputy Director of Policy and Planning and the Western Region Preservation Office Director.
  • The second year appropriation for the Civil War Historic Site Preservation Fund was also reduced from $1,000,000 to $750,000. 
  • Preservation Virginia opposes both these budget amendments because they impede the Commonwealth’s ability to preserve and monitor historic sites.
  • Preservation Virginia will work with key stakeholders throughout the 2015 session to reduce these impediments to historic preservation.

Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation

  • The Governor’s budget amendments appropriate additional funding in the second year of the budget to the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. Specifically, the Foundation’s Collections Management and Curatorial Services, and its Operational and Support Services are increased in the second year of the budget.

 Fort Monroe Authority

  • The Governor’s budget amendments appropriate additional funding in the first and second year of the budget to the Fort Monroe Authority

 Department of Conservation and Recreation

  • The Governor’s budget amendments appropriate additional funding to the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Leisure and Recreation Services budget.
  • The Governor’s budget amendments appropriate in the second year of the budget funding for the development of Seven Bends State Park.

Virginia Museum of Natural History

  • The Virginia Museum of Natural History received no reduction in appropriation under the Governor’s proposed budget amendments. 

Proposed legislation of interest to Preservation Virginia:

Historic Preservation

Bill: HB 1875 - Land records; Department of Historic Resources exempted from fee for secured remote access record.

Patron: Kory

Bill Link: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+sum+HB1875

Summary: Exempts the Department from the fee for remote access to land records.

Status: Reported from Courts of Justice Civil Law Subcommittee

Bill: HJ 566 - Lewis & Clark Eastern Legacy Trail; designating as portion of Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail.

Patron: Austin

Bill Link: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+sum+HJ566

Summary: Designates the portion of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail that runs through the Commonwealth as the Lewis and Clark Eastern Legacy Trail in Virginia.

Status: Reported from Committee on Rules

Land Preservation

Bill: HB 1483 - Real property assessment; valuation for land preservation.

Patron: Rush

Bill Link: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+sum+HB1483

Summary: Permits localities to set acreage requirements less than the current five-acre requirement for agricultural property to qualify for land use valuation.

Status: Reported from Finance Subcommittee # 1

Bill: HB 1572 - Open-space land; acquisition.

Patron: Pogge

Bill Link: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+sum+HB1572

Summary: Provides that a locality shall not acquire an interest in property for the purpose of preservation or provision of open-space land that exceeds five years' duration. Any extension shall only be approved in conjunction with a comprehensive plan review.

Status: Stricken from docket by Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee at request of patron

Zoning and Land Use

Bill: HB 1849 - Zoning appeals, board of; applications for variances.

Patron: Marshall

Bill Link: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+sum+HB1849

Summary: Changes the standard by which a board of zoning appeals shall grant an application for a variance by eliminating or altering several of the requirements.

Status: Assigned to Counties, Cities and Towns Subcommittee # 2

Bill: SB 744 - Boards of zoning appeals; City of Portsmouth.

Patron: Locke

Bill Link: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+sum+SB744

Summary: Adds the City of Portsmouth to a provision requiring the governing body to appoint members and alternates to the board of zoning appeals. Under the general law, the circuit court appoints the members of a locality's board of zoning appeals.

Status: Read second time on Senate Floor, engrossed and passed to third reading

Local Government

Bill: HB 1405 - Legal notices; advertisement by locality.

Patron: Head

Bill Link: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+sum+HB1405

Summary: Allows localities with a population of 50,000 or greater to meet certain notice requirements by utilizing their websites, radio, or television instead of a newspaper of general circulation.

Status: Failed to report from subcommittee

Bill: HB 1438 - Local government; publication of notices for charter changes, referenda, and public hearings, etc.

Patron: Bell

Bill Link: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+sum+HB1438

Summary: Gives localities alternatives to publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality for legal ads and other notices of proposed action. These alternatives include publication in at least two of the following forms of publication: (i) in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality, including such newspaper's online publication, if any; (ii) on the locality's website; (iii) on any public access channel operated by the locality, to be aired during prime-time programming and at least two other times during the day; (iv) using any automated voice or text alert systems used by the locality; or (v) posting at the local public library established pursuant to § 42.1-33, if any. In addition, the bill provides that any resident of the locality annually filing a written request for notification with the locality shall be provided notice by the locality in a manner mutually agreed upon by the locality and such individual. The request shall include the resident's name, address, zip code, daytime telephone number, and email address, if available. In selecting the methods of publication, the bill requires the locality to publish/advertise in a manner gauged to ensure that the maximum number of persons within the locality are likely to be informed of the existence and content of the proposed action. The bill contains technical amendments.

Status: Failed to report from subcommittee

Bill: HB 1594 - Outdoor advertising; regulation by county governing bodies.

Patron: Cole

Bill Link: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+sum+HB1594

Summary: Allows county governing bodies by ordinance to take over from the Commissioner of Highways the regulation of outdoor advertising within sight of state secondary highway system components.

Status: Assigned to Transportation Subcommittee # 1

Bill: HB 1993 - Blighted property; locality as receiver.

Patron: Morrissey

Bill Link: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+sum+HB1993

Summary: Simplifies the process by which a locality may petition to be appointed as a receiver for a blighted property.

Status: Assigned to Counties, Cities and Towns Subcommittee # 1

Bill: SB 841 - Ordinances; adoption by counties, notice by publication.

Patron: Lucas

Bill Link: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+sum+SB841

Summary: Removes the requirement that counties, except as otherwise required by law, publish notice of an intention to propose an ordinance for two weeks in a newspaper having a general circulation. The bill contains technical amendments.

Status: Referred to Committee on Local Government

Bill: SB 1011 - Cash proffers; purchase of development rights by locality.

Patron: Stuart

Bill Link: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+sum+SB1011

Summary: Allows a locality to use a cash payment voluntarily proffered by a landowner to purchase development rights within the locality in accordance with the comprehensive plan and local ordinances allowing for the transfer of development rights. The bill provides that the locality seeking to purchase such rights must first notify the proffering landowner and conduct a public hearing. Following the hearing, the locality is required to find that the purchase is in accordance with the local ordinance allowing the transfer of development rights, the rights to be purchased are within the areas identified in the comprehensive plan for land conservation, and the purchase is in the public interest. The bill contains technical amendments.

Status: Referred to Committee on Local Government

Taxation

Bill: HB 1326 - Income tax credit; donations to nonprofits preserving historical battlefields.

Patron: Leftwich

Bill Link: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+sum+HB1326

Summary: Establishes beginning January 1, 2015, an individual and corporate income tax credit for monetary or marketable securities donations made by a person to a nonprofit organization organized to acquire and preserve a historical battlefield in the Commonwealth and related artifacts. The credit would equal 35 percent of the value of the donation. The Department of Historic Resources would administer the credit and would be authorized to issue up to $1.5 million in such tax credits each fiscal year. Any person issued a tax credit would be allowed to claim up to $15,000 in such credit for the taxable year but not to exceed the amount of Virginia income tax imposed upon the person. Any unused credit could be carried forward for five taxable years.

Status: Finance Subcommittee # 3 recommends laying the bill on the table

Bill: HB 1567 - Tax-delinquent property; multijurisdictional sale.

Patron: Orrock

Bill Link: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+sum+HB1567

Summary: Provides a method for the sale of tax-delinquent real property that is located in more than one locality. The consent of the treasurer of each locality within which the property is located is required.

Status: Reported from Finance Subcommittee # 1

Bill: HB 2173 - Real property tax; waiver of delinquent taxes.

Patron: Orrock

Bill Link: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+sum+HB2173

Summary: Authorizes any locality to waive delinquent taxes on real property in exchange for the owner's donating the property to Habitat for Humanity or other similar nonprofit organization.

Status: Referred to Committee on Finance

Bill: HJ 505 - Reforming Virginia's state and local tax structure; report

Patron: Cole

Bill Link: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+sum+HJ505

Summary: Establishes a joint subcommittee to study reforming Virginia's tax structure, including the feasibility of adopting a flat tax or a fair tax.

Status: Referred to Committee on Rules

Misc.

Bill: HB 1447 - Foreclosure procedures; assignment of deed of trust, penalty.

Patron: McQuinn

Bill Link: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+sum+HB1447

Summary: Provides that the trustee under any deed of trust or mortgage shall not proceed with any sale of the property unless the land records of the county or city in which the property is located contain a duly recorded assignment to the person who asserts that he is the holder of the obligation. The trustee may proceed with the sale (i) upon the recordation of any assignments not recorded or, if an intervening assignment cannot be located, upon the receipt of an affidavit from the party secured that he is the party secured by the deed of trust and (ii) upon the payment by the person who asserts that he is the holder of the obligation of any fees and taxes for recording the assignment. The bill also provides that a nominee of a grantee or mortgagee for a deed of trust or mortgage has no authority to request that the trustee proceed with any sale of the property conveyed to him by the deed of trust or mortgage. The bill also requires that the party secured by the deed of trust or mortgage provide notice of his intent to foreclose to the property owner at least 45 days before any proposed sale. The bill provides further that a person who (a) knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used any false or fraudulent record, document, or statement or (b) knowingly swears or affirms falsely to any matter in support of any foreclosure is liable for a civil penalty of $5,000, which shall be paid into the local treasury. The bill also creates a civil cause of action for such a violation in favor of the owner of the property foreclosed on.

Status: Courts of Justice Civil Law Subcommittee recommends laying the bill on the table

Bill: HB 1472 - "Our Great Virginia"; designating as the official state song.

Patron: Howell

Bill Link: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+sum+HB1472

Summary: Designates "Our Great Virginia" as the official state song. The bill also contains a technical amendment.

Status: Referred to Committee on Rules

Bill: HB 1507 - Dan River; designating certain segment as State Scenic River.

Patron: Edmunds

Bill Link: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+sum+HB1507

Summary: Designates a 38.6-mile segment of the Dan River as part of the State Scenic River System.

Status: Read second time on House Floor, engrossed and passed to third reading

Bill: HJ 521 - Virginia's Rail Heritage Region; designating certain areas in the Commonwealth.

Patron: Poindexter

Bill Link: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+sum+HJ521

Summary: Designates Virginia's Rail Heritage Region in the Commonwealth, consisting of the Counties of Alleghany, Amherst, Bedford, Botetourt, Campbell, Franklin, and Roanoke and the Cities of Covington, Lynchburg, Roanoke, and Salem, as well as the Towns of Amherst, Bedford, Boones Mill, Buchanan, Clifton Forge, Iron Gate, Rocky Mount, Troutville, and Vinton.

Status: Reported from Committee on Rules

Bill: SB 1128 - State song.

Patron: Colgan

Bill Link: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+sum+SB1128

Summary: Designates "Our Great Virginia" as the official state song. The bill also contains a technical amendment.

Status: Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology

Bill: SJ 226 - Virginia Declaration of Rights, George Mason's; commemorating its 240th anniversary in 2016.

Patron: Puller

Bill Link: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+sum+SJ226

Summary: Commemorating the 240th anniversary of George Mason's Virginia Declaration of Rights in 2016.

Status: Referred to Committee on Rules

Updated January 26, 2015