After five weeks of meetings in Richmond the General Assembly will reach its halfway point, known as “crossover”, next week. At this point, all legislation that has passed the House or Senate will “crossover” to the other body for consideration. As we reported last week and as you have seen in the weekly updates, our legislative agenda has been advancing smoothly through the legislature. The most recent update can be viewed here.
Last week we shared information with you regarding the identification a dedicated source of revenue for METRO. In order to maintain a state of good repair, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. must identify a revenue source equalling $500 million with Virginia’s share being approximately $154 million per year.
This past Wednesday PWAR continued that discussion with Marty Nohe, Chairman of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority and member of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. Chairman Nohe shared with us that there are two separate proposals to provide funding to METRO but fortunately at this point Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park will not see regional tax increases to do so. METRO is vital to our region and must be addressed but we are very pleased to see the state is working towards decreasing its reliance on the real estate industry.
On Wednesday we had not seen the House proposal for METRO but on Thursday, their proposal, patroned by Delegate Tim Hugo, was unveiled. While the Senate proposal would increase regional taxes such as the transient occupancy tax and the grantors’ tax, the House proposal relies on redirecting existing state and regional funding. Again, it is good news that the House proposal will not rely on higher taxes in our region, but it does rely on regional transportation funding which is currently utilized for our local road projects. It is still early on in the process and these proposals are both likely to change in the coming weeks. We will continue to update you as we learn more.
Listed below are several resources to help you navigate the legislative session. You will find resources to help determine who your elected representative is and how to contact them, how to determine who serves on which committees, as well as when our legislative priorities will be considered. If you care to do so, you can even watch online as these meetings take place!
Brendon Shaw serves as our full-time representative in Richmond and advocates on our behalf. Should you have any questions about legislation, the legislative process, or Virginia REALTORS legislative priorities, he can be reached by email at BShaw@cardinalstrategiesva.com.