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Commonwealth's Counties

Legislation on Assessment Increases Passes in Significantly Amended Form

HB 1010 (Durant) has passed in significantly amended form relative to its original version.  As introduced, the bill would have imposed new restrictions on the local budget process by requiring a referendum if growth in real estate assessments would generate more than 101 percent of the previous year’s collections and the locality did not reduce the tax rate accordingly.  VACo opposed the original version of the bill.

The bill was amended in the House Finance Committee to pertain only to the notice for the public hearing that is required to be held if the governing body does not reduce the tax rate to generate no more than 101 percent of the previous year’s real property tax levies.  The substitute version requires those localities that conduct reassessments more than once every four years to publish the notice of this hearing on a different day than the notice of the annual budget public hearing, and in a separate notice from the notice of the annual budget hearing.  Proponents of the bill argue that this separate notice would provide more information to taxpayers.

The legislation was heard last week in the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee and initially failed to report due to concerns about potential future amendments that might broaden the scope of the bill or return it to its original form.  The bill was subsequently reconsidered, and after receiving assurances that the Governor would not propose amendments to the bill, the Committee opted to report the bill.  The bill subsequently passed the Senate.

VACo appreciates its members’ advocacy in ensuring that the original version of HB 1010 (as well as its Senate companion, SB 620 (Cosgrove)), did not move forward.

VACo Contact:  Katie Boyle

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