More transportation dollars for NoVA to come with higher “Grantor’s Tax” on home sales

March 26, 2013 — Under legislation Gov. Bob McDonnell is set to sign into law, the Grantor’s Tax property sellers must pay will go up July 1, 2013 from 10 cents per $100 to 35 cents per $100.

The upshot: If you’re selling your home this spring as two of my clients  are, try to close before Tuesday, June 30 in order to pay at the the existing rate of 10 cents per $100. Keep in mind there could be a rush to close on that Monday and Tuesday so best to aim for that week beforehand.

This 250% increase — ouch! — does come with the projected benefit of more state transportation revenues funding road improvement projects in Northern Virginia, including Metrorail’s Silver Line extension to Dulles airport and Loudoun County.

For the sale of a $500,00o home, the Grantor’s Tax in a settlement in June is $500. After June, it will be $1,750.

VA general assembly logoThe Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (NVAR) “applauds” the efforts of Gov. McDonnell and the General Assembly for what would be the “first meaningful infusion of transportation revenues in nearly 27 years.”

The soon-to-be-law, aka House Bill 2313, reportedly provides close to $900 million a year in statewide funding and more than $300 million annually for Northern Virginia. We certainly could use it!

“In a perfect world,” said NVAR in a statement here, “we would prefer not to tax real estate transactions at a time when the market is on the verge of recovery. However, NVAR has honored its commitment to be part of a transportation funding solution so long as other industries are also part of the solution.”

Jurisdictions in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads will have the ability to collect additional funds dedicated soley to road and transit projects. Of course, that would mean higher local taxes, albeit with the peace-of-mind that those monies would stay ‘home.’

Working closely with NVAR were Delegates Dave Albo, (R-Springfield) and Jackson Miller (R-Prince William), and Senator Janet Howell (D-Reston). This trio succeeded in reducing the initially proposed Grantor’s Tax increase of 40 cents per $100 to the 25 cents per $100 in the bill.

Among the alternatives to the Grantors’ Tax increase was a local income tax increase of 1%. In the end, the Gov. McDonnell’s highly-touted transportation funding bill raised revenue from several sources including an increase in the sales and use tax, car titling fees and hotel occupancy taxes. All of those taxes are still said to be lower than those in D.C. and Maryland.

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Approval of Phase 2 of Metro’s Silver Line to Dulles Airport should boost property values

July 7, 2012 — It was oh sooooo close but the all-Republican Board of Supervisors in Loudoun County, Virginia approved the second phase of the Metro subway system’s extension into Loudoun County, including Washington-Dulles International Airport.

The vote all but ensures that the Washington Metropolitan area has one of, if not THE, most accessible and cleanest commuter train / subway systems in the world.

While the extension will come with costs to the county and construction inconveniences, one now can reach the region’s three airports using public transportation, without an expensive taxi ride.

With his decision to support the Silver Line after strongly opposing it, Supervisor Kenneth D. Reid (R-Leesburg) delivered the fifth and deciding vote for a project that supporters and at least a few of my clients predict will have a lasting impact.

“This is a huge investment in Loudoun’s future,” Tony Howard, president of the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce, told The Washington Post. The Chamber represents 1,200 businesses. “It’s important not just for our economy in the next quarter or the next year, but for a payoff that will be generational. . . . The chamber is absolutely elated.”

Read this assessment of the vote and what it means by The Washington Post here.

Phase 1 of the Silver Line to Wielhe Avenue near Reston is to be complete in late 2013. Phase 2 is supposed to be complete by 2018. CREDIT: Washington Post

If you support the Dulles Metrorail line, be sure your elected officials know it!

The second phase of Washington, DC-area’s “Silver” Metrorail line from Reston Parkway to the Dulles airport and Loudoun County deserves the  support of everyone who wants it and/or can benefit from it.

While the first phase  from Falls Church through Tysons Corner to Wiehle Avenue is on schedule and on budget (can you believe it!), the state of Virginia and Loudoun County reportedly are balking at committing the needed financing. See map, below.

Fairfax County recognizes that not only is the complete line integral to the economic growth and improved commutes for Northern Virginians, it stands to elevate the entire region internationally, along with its home prices.

This editorial in the Sunday, April 22 editions of The Washington Post  — “Dulles rail could go off the tracks” — sums up who needs to do what to keep the Silver Line ON track.

Stephen S. Fuller, director of George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis, told the Post that extending the Silver Line into Loudoun would make the difference between the county continuing mainly as a bedroom community that exports workers into neighboring jurisdictions and transforming part of it into a employment magnet for highly educated and well-paid professionals.

In fact, Fuller said, if Loudoun turns its back on Metro, the county would sacrifice more than $55 billion in potential economic activity, and some 40,000 jobs, by 2040, and its rate of growth would be 10 percent slower.