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DPVA Supports VA Constitutional Amendments

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At its September 8, 2018 State Central Committee meeting, the DPVA endorsed two state constitutional amendments that are on the November ballot. Local committees may add that support to their sample ballots, speeding up voting process.

Here’s a short summary of the Amendments:

  • Question 1 would allow local governments to give tax breaks to residents who improve property to avoid or mitigate flooding.
  • Question 2 would allow surviving spouses of totally disabled veterans who currently have a property exemption to keep that exemption if they move.

The full text and official explanation of both amendments may be found here. Both amendments were overwhelmingly approved by the General Assembly (in two consecutive sessions) and signed by Governor Northam. The Alexandria Democratic Committee has adopted resolutions of support, below.

Ballot Question 1 would amend Virginia Constitution Article X, Section 6, covering Taxation and Finance, Exempt Property. The amendment would allow local governments to provide a partial tax exemption for real property that is subject to the recurrent flooding if flooding resiliency improvements have been made on the property.

  • Virginia’s Constitution currently allows localities to provide a partial exemption from taxation for real estate if an owner has made substantial improvements to the existing structures to address factors such as age, conservation efforts or rehabilitation, but has not included improvements made to address recurrent flooding.
  • Virginia is a “Dillon Rule” jurisdiction, meaning that local governments can only pass ordinances in areas where they have been granted clear authority by the state.
  • Passage of this amendment would allow (not require) local governments to provide tax incentives for permanent changes to protect buildings from flood damage by doing such things as building floodwalls and relocating electrical equipment.

Ballot Question 2 would amend Virginia Constitution Article X, Section 6-A, covering Taxation and Finance, Property tax exemption for certain veterans and their surviving spouses and surviving spouses of soldiers killed in action. The amendment would extend the real property tax exemption for a primary residence that is currently provided to the surviving spouses of veterans who had a one hundred percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability to allow the surviving spouse to move to a different primary residence and still claim the exemption.

  • The Virginia Constitution currently exempts from taxation the real estate owned jointly or solely by a veteran who has a 100 percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability. The exemption also applies to the surviving spouse of the veteran after his or her death, so long as the surviving spouse does not remarry and continues to occupy the property as his or her primary place of residence.
  • The amendment would allow the surviving spouse to move to a different residence and retain the exemption. The change would support military families by giving surviving spouses mobility in time of emotional and/or financial hardship.

      ADC Resolutions Supporting 2018 VA Const. Amends. (19.4 KiB, 3,406 hits)