Making the Case

Government policies and decisions have a major impact on Virginia’s historic places. Preservation Virginia works with its partners and network of preservationists to build public support for identifying priority preservation issues and developing action strategies to ensure that Virginia’s historic places remain strong and economically sustainable for present and future generations. You can support this work by becoming an Advocacy Partner. Partners receive recognition at Preservation Virginia events, such as our annual Legislative Reception. Learn more about ways you can help and make a donation here.

At the Virginia General Assembly

Preservation Virginia monitors the General Assembly session each year to keep you informed about legislation that impacts historic preservation. Weekly updates provide insights and calls for action on preservation related legislation and budget items.  Sign up for Legislative Alerts online.

On Wednesday, January 25th, we’re hosting an in-person Legislative Reception for the first time in three years. Located at the Hilton Richmond Downtown, lawmakers, developers, architects and preservationists will gather to make the case for the economic and environmental impact of historic preservation. Learn more and register here:

https://2023legislativereception.eventbrite.com/

You can watch a recording of last year’s virtual legislative reception on our YouTube channel.

2023 General Assembly Legislative Update

The General Assembly embarks in its first full week and bills are beginning to work their way quickly through the subcommittee and committee level.  This update presents nearly all of the bills that Preservation Virginia will track this session – although additional bills may be filed this week.

Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit

HB 1668  Historic rehabilitation; increases maximum amount of tax credit.

Patron:  Marshall

Summary: Increases from $5 million to $10 million, beginning in taxable year 2023, the maximum amount of the historic rehabilitation tax credit, including amounts carried over from prior taxable years, that may be claimed by a taxpayer in any taxable year. In addition, should the taxpayer incur expenses toward the rehabilitation of a certified historic structure in a locality that has a designated enterprise zone, as defined in the Code, the taxpayer may claim up to an additional $10 million in any taxable year.

Status: Assigned to House Finance Subcommittee #3

HB 2064  Historic rehabilitation; increases maximum amount of tax credit.

Patron:  Lopez

Summary: Increases from $5 million to $10 million the maximum amount of the historic rehabilitation tax credit, including amounts carried over from prior taxable years, that may be claimed by a taxpayer in any taxable year beginning in taxable year 2023.

Status: Assigned to House Finance Committee

SB 1066  Historic rehabilitation; increases maximum amount of tax credit.

Patron:  Surovell

Summary: Increases from $5 million to $10 million, beginning in taxable year 2023, the maximum amount of the historic rehabilitation tax credit, including amounts carried over from prior taxable years, that may be claimed by a taxpayer in any taxable year. In addition, should the taxpayer incur expenses toward the rehabilitation of a certified historic structure in a locality that has a designated enterprise zone, as defined in the Code, the taxpayer may claim up to an additional $10 million in any taxable year.

Status: Assigned to Senate Finance Committee

HB 2109 Historic rehabilitation tax credit; use for historic school buildings.

Patron:  Bourne

Summary: Extends the historic rehabilitation tax credit to include improvements to or reconstruction of a historic school building. Historic school building is defined in the bill as a certified historic structure or a structure that is at least 50 years old that is a public school or is to be used as a public school. Such historic rehabilitation projects shall be consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. Repairs or renovations to windows, doors, structural features, or other projects that are consistent with such standards shall qualify for the credit.

Status: Assigned to House Finance Committee

 

Green Book

HB 1968 – Department of Historic Resources; Green Book historic site designations.

Patron:  Mullin

Summary: Requires appropriations by the Department of Historic Resources for African American cemeteries to be allocated on the bases of (i) the number of markers in a cemetery of African Americans who were born after January 1, 1900, and interred in such cemetery prior to January 1, 1948, and (ii) the number of markers in a cemetery of African Americans who lived on or after January 1, 1800, but not after January 1, 1900. Under current law, such appropriations are allocated on the basis of the number of markers in a cemetery of African Americans who were interred in such cemetery prior to January 1, 1948.

Status: Reported from House Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources

 

African American Cemeteries

HB 2244 – Department of Historic Resources; appropriations for African American cemeteries and graves.

Patron:  Cordoza

Summary: Requires appropriations by the Department of Historic Resources for African American cemeteries to be allocated on the bases of (i) the number of markers in a cemetery of African Americans who were born after January 1, 1900, and interred in such cemetery prior to January 1, 1948, and (ii) the number of markers in a cemetery of African Americans who lived on or after January 1, 1800, but not after January 1, 1900. Under current law, such appropriations are allocated on the basis of the number of markers in a cemetery of African Americans who were interred in such cemetery prior to January 1, 1948.

Status: Assigned to House Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources Committee

SB 1062 – Department of Historic Resources; appropriations for African American cemeteries and graves.

Patron:  Spruill

Summary: Requires appropriations by the Department of Historic Resources for African American cemeteries to be allocated on the bases of (i) the number of markers in a cemetery of African Americans who were born after January 1, 1900, and interred in such cemetery prior to January 1, 1948, and (ii) the number of markers in a cemetery of African Americans who lived on or after January 1, 1800, but not after January 1, 1900. Under current law, such appropriations are allocated on the basis of the number of markers in a cemetery of African Americans who were interred in such cemetery prior to January 1, 1948.

Status: Assigned to Senate General Laws Committee

 

Tribal Nations

SB 1332  Tribal Nations; consultation w/ federally recognized, permits and review w/ potential impacts.

Patron:  McClellan

Summary: Requires the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Historic Resources, and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission to establish policies and procedures for consulting with federally recognized Tribal Nations in the Commonwealth when evaluating certain permits and reviews relating to environmental, cultural, or historic resources that potentially impact those federally recognized Tribal Nations in the Commonwealth. The bill directs the Secretary of the Commonwealth to designate an Ombudsman for Tribal Consultation to facilitate communication and consultation with federally recognized Tribal Nations in the Commonwealth. The bill codifies Executive Order 82 (2021).

Status: Reported from Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources with amendment; Referred to Senate Finance Committee.

 

Local Historic Preservation 

HB 2371  Alexandria Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission; surety bonds for membership.

Patron:  Bennett-Parker

Summary: Removes the requirement that members of the Alexandria Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission give a surety bond in the sum of $10,000 that is executed by a surety company, payable to the Governor and his successors in office, and conditioned upon the member’s faithful performance of his duties.

Status: Assigned to House General Laws Subcommittee #1

SB 942  Alexandria Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission; surety bonds for membership.

Patron:  Saslaw

Summary: Removes the requirement that members of the Alexandria Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission give a surety bond in the sum of $10,000 that is executed by a surety company, payable to the Governor and his successors in office, and conditioned upon the member’s faithful performance of the his duties.

Status: Passed the Senate

Capitol Square Preservation Council

SB 1357  Capitol Square Preservation Council; powers and duties; review and approval of plans for changes to artifacts contained within the Capitol Building.

Patron:  Norment

Summary: Grants the Capitol Square Preservation Council the authority to review and approve all plans or proposals for alterations, improvements, additions, or renovations to, or other disposition of, any monuments, statuary, artwork, or other historical artifacts contained within the Capitol Building, including within the old and new Senate chambers, the old and new halls of the House of Delegates, and the Rotunda.

Status: Assigned to Senate Rules Committee

 

Capitol Square Preservation Council

SB 1412  American Revolution 250 Commission; report.

Patron:  Norment

Summary: Changes the American Revolution 250 Commission, established in 2020, from an executive branch advisory commission to a legislative branch commission. The bill revises the Commission’s membership and provides that members previously appointed to the Commission shall continue to serve unless replaced. The bill also (i) permits the Commission to establish an executive committee that may act on behalf of the full Commission between meetings and (ii) creates the Virginia American Revolution 250 Commission Fund. The bill extends the Commission’s sunset date from July 1, 2027, to July 1, 2032.

Status: Assigned to Senate Rules Committee

 

Land Use

HB 1612  Vacant building; registration.

Patron:  Williams Graves

Summary: Permits any city and certain towns to require, by ordinance, the owner of any building that has been vacant for at least 12 months and that may endanger the public health, safety, or welfare to register such building annually. Under current law, any city and certain towns are permitted to require the owner of any building that has been vacant for at least 12 months and meets the definition of “derelict building” in relevant law to register such building annually.

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

HB 1482  Vacant building; registration.

Patron:  Ward

Summary: Permits any city and certain towns to require, by ordinance, the owner of any building that has been vacant for at least 12 months and that may endanger the public health, safety, or welfare to register such building annually. Under current law, any city and certain towns are permitted to require the owner of any building that has been vacant for at least 12 months and meets the definition of “derelict building” in relevant law to register such building annually.

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

SB 838  Vacant building; registration.

Patron:  Locke

Summary: Permits any city and certain towns to require, by ordinance, the owner of any building that has been vacant for at least 12 months and that may endanger the public health, safety, or welfare to register such building annually. Under current law, any city and certain towns are permitted to require the owner of any building that has been vacant for at least 12 months and meets the definition of “derelict building” in relevant law to register such building annually.

Status: Assigned to the Local Government Committee

SB 1111  Cities and certain towns; powers, increases vacant building registration fees, civil penalty.

Patron:  Hashmi

Summary: Provides that in its consideration of certain communications infrastructure applications, a locality shall not disapprove an application if (i) the proposed new structure provides additional wireless coverage or capacity for first responders or (ii) the proposed tower is not within a four-mile radius of an existing tower that is part of the applicant’s network. Additional changes in the bill provide that a locality shall not be prohibited from disapproving certain applications for any zoning approval required for non-administrative review-eligible projects on the basis of the fact that the proposed height of any wireless support structure, wireless facility, or wireless support structure with attached wireless facilities exceeds 200 feet above ground level. Current law sets the limit at 50 feet above ground level.

Status: Assigned to the Local Government Committee

 

Other Topics of Interest:

SB 1122 – Hanger – Open-space lands preservation trust fund; use of funds; conservation easements.(S) Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources(S) Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources

 

SB 993 – Marsden – Virginia Land Conservation Board of Trustees; expands membership.(S) Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources(S) Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources

 

HJ 495 – Carr – Commending the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia.(H) Prefiled and laid on Speaker’s table; offered 01/11/23 23100498D

 

HB 1637 – Webert – Electric utilities; pilot program for underground transmission lines, adds additional project.(H) Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/23 23100154D

 

HB 1834 – Cherry – Land preservation; deadline for filing an application for tax credits.(H) Committee on Finance(H) Assigned Finance sub: Subcommittee #2

 

In Congress

Our colleagues at the National Trust for Historic Preservation have put together some helpful analysis about the impact of the 2018 mid-term elections and how you can support the “Historic Tax Credit Enhancement Act.”

Thanks to all who have reached out to Delegates and Senators. You can still contact your legislators. Call and make an appointment to:

  • Share information about a recent or upcoming HRTC project in their district and the analysis of impacts from the findings of the Baker Tilly and VCU CURA studies.
  • Invite your Senator and Delegate to tour an HRTC project or a ribbon cutting— emphasize the number of jobs generated by the project, revitalization of the area, and number of occupants of the completed building.
  • Email any feedback to Preservation Virginia CEO Elizabeth Kostelny.

 

Legislative Archive 2022

Legislative Archive 2021

 

 

You can support Preservation Virginia’s statewide work and be a voice for historic places.