Legislative Initiatives for 2010 General Assembly State of Virginia

  • HB 233 – Assessments for affordable housing units.  Determines that capitalization rates for valuation shall not be reduced for affordable housing units, and that the taxpayer shall have the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence to determine that the valuation is erroneous. Assessments on affordable rental housing shall be deemed presumptively correct for two years or the remainder of the assessment cycle, whichever occurs first.
  • HB 430 – Real property tax assessment. Provides (i) that the fair market value of certain affordable housing be determined using income production assessment methodology, based on the property’s current use and restrictions; (ii) additional requirements for real estate assessors; (iii) that a locality’s real property sales assessment ratio higher than 110 percent is prima facie proof that the locality has failed to assess at 100 percent of fair market value; (iii) taxpayers access to certain information related to assessments; and (iv) additional requirements related to boards of equalization.
  • HB 570 – Real property tax assessments; appeals. Changes the burden of proof from the taxpayer to the assessor when a taxpayer appeals the assessment of real property to a board of equalization or to a circuit court.
  • HB 577 – Real property tax; time to appeal assessments extended. Increases the time a taxpayer may appeal the assessment of his real estate to the commissioner of the revenue (i) from three years to five years from the last day of the tax year for which the assessment is made or (ii) from one year to three years from the date of the assessment, whichever is later.
  • SB 121 – Effect on rate when assessment results in tax increase; public hearings. Provides that notice of the public hearing a locality must hold prior to increasing its real property tax when that locality’s assessment of real property results in a tax increase shall be given at least 14 days before the date of the hearing.

In addition, three other bills have been introduced that may have defined impacts on homeowners:

  • HB 191 – Common Interest Communities Board; clarification for complaints.

Specifies that each Association shall establish a procedure for resolution of complaints and must adhere to the created procedure. This bill was recommended by the Virginia Housing Commission.

  • HB 552 – Vested rights to include right to replace failed septic system.

Includes the right to replace failed septic systems under vested rights protection. Determinations by zoning administrators are deemed to be significant governmental acts allowing development of specific projects.

  • HB 205 – Residential property insurance; duty of insurer to repair damages.

Requires fire or miscellaneous property insurance policies on residential property to provide that the duty to repair, rebuild, or replace damaged portions of the property includes the obligation to paint or otherwise repair the undamaged portion of the property that is adjacent to or in the immediate area of the damaged portion of the property, in the same manner and with the same material as is used to repair the damaged portion of the property. This obligation applies if necessary to avoid creating unreasonable differentiations in the appearance of the damaged and the undamaged portions of the property as a result of making repairs to the damaged portion of the property.

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