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Commonwealth's Counties

Constitutional Amendments of Interest to Localities Reintroduced

Several Constitutional amendments of interest to localities have been reintroduced in the 2018 General Assembly.  A constitutional amendment must pass twice in identical form – once before and once after an intervening election for House of Delegates – before being voted on as a referendum.

“Second resolution” Constitutional amendments that passed the 2017 Session and will be considered in 2018 are as follows:

HJ 6 (Miyares) allows for “portability” of the real property tax exemption for the surviving spouse of a disabled veteran; currently, the surviving spouse must continue to occupy the property that was originally eligible for the exemption to continue to qualify for the tax relief.

HJ 41 (LaRock) is a “lockbox” amendment that provides that transportation funds must be appropriated for transportation purposes; the General Assembly may borrow from transportation funds for other purposes by a two-thirds vote.

SJ 21 (Lewis) allows the General Assembly to authorize localities to provide for a partial exemption from real estate taxes for property subject to recurrent flooding that has been improved by flooding abatement or mitigation projects.

Two additional amendments dealing with the General Assembly’s authority to review and override administrative rules also passed the 2017 General Assembly and are likely to be considered in 2018 as well.  Constitutional amendments are traditionally considered by the House Privileges and Elections Committee and the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee.

VACo Contact: Katie Boyle

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