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Commonwealth's Counties

School Construction Financing Bills Fly through Senate and House

SB 14 (McPike) and HB 805 (Rasoul) have passed their respective houses after crossover, and will soon advance to Governor Youngkin. On February 26, the House passed SB 14 (McPike) on a 68-28 vote, and on February 23, the Senate passed with a substitute, HB 805 (Rasoul), on a vote of 27-12.

As previously reported, this legislation would permit any county or city to impose an additional local sales and use tax of up to 1 percent, if initiated by a resolution of the local governing body and approved by voters at a local referendum. The revenues of such a local tax would be used solely for capital projects for the construction or renovation of schools. Any tax imposed shall expire when the costs for capital projects are to be repaid and shall not be more than 20 years after the date of the resolution passed. Currently, this authority is limited to the qualifying localities of Charlotte, Gloucester, Halifax, Henry, Mecklenburg, Northampton, Patrick, and Pittsylvania Counties and the City of Danville.

VACo and numerous other local government and K-12 advocates have testified in favor of the bills. VACo thanks its members and those who advocated for this important legislation.

Please contact your delegates and senators to thank them for their positive support. Also, please urge Governor Youngkin to sign this legislation into law.

Review this video and one-pager for information on the desperate need for more school construction financing options.


  • Funding for school construction and renovation is one of the biggest concerns and responsibilities of local governments in the Commonwealth and has been almost solely a local responsibility for decades. The condition of the facilities in which children are educated has a direct impact on their ability to learn.
  • Many localities face significant challenges in raising sufficient funds to undertake these projects. These challenges include over-reliance on real property taxes to generate revenue, which can have vastly different yields depending on the locality and disproportionately burden a subset of taxpayers within a jurisdiction. This raises concerns over equity and diversity of revenues.
  • According to the Commission on School Construction and Modernization, more than half of K-12 school buildings in Virginia are more than 50 years old. The amount of funding needed to replace these buildings is estimated to cost $24.8 billion.
  • This legislation was a unanimous recommendation by the Commission on School Construction and Modernization.
  • This bill is about parity for local governments, giving all counties the same authority currently given to nine localities.
  • This bill is NOT a tax increase. It would merely create a local option and another tool in the toolbox of local government, which would only be enacted by local referendum.

VACo Contact: Jeremy R. Bennett

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