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Commonwealth's Counties

School Construction Local Authority Financing Bill Advances

On January 19, by a vote of 14-2, the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee voted to report SB 472 (McClellan). VACo spoke in strong support of the measure, which 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 of the 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 thanks everyone who responded to our Capitol Contact Alert on the measure. The Committee also voted to advance by similar votes, SB 37 (Norment) and SB 298 (Deeds), which would expand this authority to Isle of Wight County and the City of Charlottesville respectively and are also supported by VACo.

SB 472 now moves to the full Senate. VACo strongly encourages you to contact your Senators and urge them to support SB 472.

In the House, two pieces of legislation identical to SB 472 have been filed. HB 531 (Hudson) has been assigned to the House Finance Committee’s Subcommittee #3, while HB 1099 (LaRock) is pending committee assignment, but will most likely also be assigned to a House Finance Subcommittee. VACo strongly supports these bills and requests that you to contact members of the House Finance Committee to urge them to support this legislation.

Delegate Hudson also filed HB 545 (Hudson), which is the House companion for SB 298 (Deeds). Additionally, Delegate Edmunds introduced HB 63 (Edmunds), which grants this taxing authority to Prince Edward County. VACo also supports these bills.

VACo Contact: Jeremy R. Bennett

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