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Historic Preservation News from Across the Commonwealth
2017 General Assembly Session Preview

The General Assembly enters its second full week and bills are beginning to work their way quickly through the subcommittee and committee level.

This update presents nearly all of the bills that Preservation Virginia will track this session – bills may only be introduced now by unanimous consent of both chambers.

Currently, Preservation Virginia is tracking 16 bills. Several of these items, however, are points of interest but not priority bills. These will be removed from future Alerts but will continue to be updated and available on Preservation Virginia’s website. Future Alerts will focus only on priority bills.

 
Preservation Virginia’s current priorities include the following:

Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit:

While HB 1635 was killed in subcommittee, SB 1034 (Howell) and HB 2460 (Bloxom) are still pending in Senate and House Finance. This legislation would, for taxable years beginning on and after January 1, 2017, limit the amount of the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit that may be claimed by each taxpayer to $5 million a year. 

Additionally, SB 1485 and SB 1540, both patroned by Senator Glen Sturtevant, put both the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit and the Land Preservation Tax Credit in jeopardy. SB 1485 would add a sunset date of January 1, 2022 to both tax credits. While SB 1540 would place an aggregate cap on the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit and the Land Preservation Tax Credit and then reduce that aggregate cap over a ten year period until 2027, when no credits would be issued for either program. 

Land Preservation Tax Credit:

While HB 1470 was tabled in subcommittee, SB 963 (Hanger) is still pending in Senate Finance.  This legislation would limit the amount of the Land Preservation Tax Credit that may be claimed by each taxpayer to $20,000 for taxable year 2017. 

Preservation Virginia is working with key stakeholders to protect these vital tax credits and will keep everyone informed of further developments and opportunities to reach out to legislators on these essential conservation tools.
Preservation Virginia Legislative Reception

Finally, be sure that the Preservation Virginia Legislative Reception is on your calendar for this Thursday, January 26th at 5:30 p.m. at Richmond’s Downtown Hilton. Each year, we gather in Richmond with leaders from the General Assembly and the Administration to highlight the benefits of historic preservation. 

For more information or to sign up to attend the Legislative Reception, please click here.
 
Budget Update

In addition to the Governor’s introduced budget amendments (available in Preservation Virginia’s website archive), the House and Senate have respectively proposed the following amendments to the budget bill: 

House

Item 91 #1h (Del. James): This amendment restores $750,000 cut from the Office of Farmland Preservation's Purchase of Development Rights Program that was reduced in House Bill 1500 as introduced.

Item 365 #7h (Del. James): This amendment restores the proposed funding reduction for the Virginia Land Conservation Fund included in House Bill 1500 as introduced and would ensure level funding of $8.0 million for each year of the biennium. It also removes language that was added changing the allocations to the Virginia Outdoor Foundation's Open-Space Lands Preservation Trust Fund.

Item 376 #2h (Del. Howell): This amendment fully restores funding for the Battlefields Preservation Fund appropriated by the 2016 General Assembly in Chapter 780. The Governor proposed reductions to the program in both years of the biennium in his amendments contained in House Bill 1500.

Item 376 #3h (Del. James): This amendment fully restores funding for the Battlefields Preservation Fund appropriated by the 2016 General Assembly in Chapter 780. The Governor proposed reductions to the program in both years of the biennium in his amendments contained in House Bill 1500.

Item 376 #4h (Del. Minchew): This amendment provides $90,000 from the general fund in the first year to provide a $1.00 for $1.00 match to the federal government for the restoration of the Virginia Memorial at the Gettysburg National Battlefield. The federal match would be provided by the National Park Service. This memorial will celebrate its 100th birthday this year and preservation actions are need to preserve this critical historical memorial.

Senate

Item 91 #1s (Sen. Hanger): This amendment restores the total appropriation for the Virginia Farmland Preservation Fund to $1.0 million GF for FY18.

Item 365 #1s (Sen. Hanger): This amendment would restore the total for the Virginia Land Conservation Fund to $8.0 million GF for FY18 and removes language changes governing the allocations to the Virginia Outdoors Foundation's Open-Space Lands Preservation Trust Fund.

Item 376 #1s (Sen. Hanger): This amendment restores the total for the Virginia Battlefield Preservation Fund to $1.0 million for FY18.

Item 376 #2s (Sen. Ruff): This amendment restores the Governor's proposed cuts to the Virginia Battlefield Preservation Fund, providing level funding of $1.0 million GF in each year.

Item 376 #3s (Sen. Reeves): This amendment places an annual sunset on claims against the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit so that progress and improvements can be assessed by the Joint Subcommittee to Evaluate Tax Preferences.

Item 3-5.20 #2s (Sen. Sturtevant): This amendment would place annual caps on the Historic Rehabilitation, Land Preservation, and Research and Development tax credits. The Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit would be capped at $80 million per year. The Land Preservation Tax Credit would be capped at $60 million per year, and the Research and Development Tax Credit would be capped at $23 million per year. This amendment would increase general fund revenues the second year. The actual revenue impact is to be determined.
 
Derelict and Blighted buildings

Bill: HB 1936 - Derelict and blighted buildings; land banks; receivership.

Patron: Carr

Bill text: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+ful+HB1936 

Summary: Authorizes a locality to petition the circuit court to appoint a land bank entity to act as a receiver in certain limited circumstances to repair derelict and blighted buildings that contains residential dwelling units.

Status: Assigned to Counties Cities & Towns Subcommittee #2
 
Historic Preservation

Bill: HB 1547 - Historical African American cemeteries and graves.

Patron: McQuinn

Bill text: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+ful+HB1547 

Summary: Directs the distribution of funds, appropriated for the purpose, to qualifying nonprofit organizations that preserve historical African American cemeteries established before 1900. The funding formula is $5, or the average actual cost of routine maintenance, multiplied by the number of graves, monuments, and markers of African Americans who lived at any time between 1800 and 1900 and are interred in the cemetery. The bill lists two cemeteries, East End Cemetery in Henrico County and Evergreen Cemetery in the City of Richmond, that are to receive any funds appropriated for a total of 6,975 gravesites.

Status: Reported from Subcommittee 

Bill: HB 2296 - Commission on the Preservation of the History of Formerly Enslaved African Americans in Virginia.

Patron: McQuinn

Bill text: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+ful+HB2296

Summary: Establishes an 11-member legislative commission to identify the history of formerly enslaved African Americans in Virginia, and determine ways to preserve the history for educational and cultural purposes.

Among other things, the bill directs the Commission to promote the identification, preservation, and conservation of historic sites significant to the history, presence, and contributions of formerly enslaved African Americans in Virginia; identify the contributions of African Americans to Virginia, the nation, and the world and recommend options to begin resolving lingering societal problems whose origins began with the institution of slavery; identify historical sites significant to the history of formerly enslaved African Americans in Virginia; and recommend ways to increase tourism and revenues associated with such sites.

The bill directs the Commission to submit its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly annually. The provisions of the bill are contingent on funding in a general appropriation act, and the bill contains a July 1, 2020, sunset.

Status: Referred to Committee on Rules

Bill: HB 2460 - Historic rehabilitation; limits amount of tax credits that may be claimed by each taxpayer.

Patron: Bloxom

Bill text: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+sum+HB2460 

Summary: Limits the amount of historic rehabilitation tax credits that may be claimed by each taxpayer to $5 million per year, including any amounts carried over from prior taxable years. The limit is in effect for taxable years beginning on and after January 1, 2017.

Status: Referred to Committee on Finance

Bill: SB 1034 - Historic rehabilitation tax credit.

Patron: Howell

Bill text: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+ful+SB1034 

Summary: Limits the amount of historic rehabilitation tax credits that may be claimed by each taxpayer to $5 million per year, including any amounts carried over from prior taxable years. The limit is in effect for taxable years beginning on and after January 1, 2017.

Status: Referred to Committee on Finance
 
Land Preservation

Bill: SB 963 - Land preservation tax credit; per taxpayer limitation.

Patron: Hanger

Bill text: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+ful+SB963 

Summary: Extends to taxable year 2017 the $20,000 limit on the amount that a taxpayer may claim per year under the land preservation tax credit. The bill retains the $50,000 limit for each subsequent taxable year.

Status: Referred to Committee on Finance
 
Tax Credits

Bill: SB 1485 - Tax credits; expiration of certain tax credits.

Patron: Sturtevant

Bill text: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+sum+SB1485 

Summary: Adds a sunset date of January 1, 2022, to all existing tax credits that do not currently have a sunset date.

Status: Referred to Committee on Finance

Bill: SB 1540 - Certain tax credits; aggregate caps.

Patron: Sturtevant

Bill text: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+sum+SB1540 

Summary: Reduces the total aggregate caps of the historic rehabilitation tax credit, the research and development expenses tax credit, the major research and development expenses tax credit, and the land preservation tax credit over a period of 10 years, so that no credits are available for any of the credits beginning in 2027.

Status: Referred to Committee on Finance

 
Transmission Lines

Bill: HB 1766 - Utility Facilities Act; associated facilities of an electrical transmission line.

Patron: Habeeb

Bill text: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+ful+HB1766 

Summary: Provides that the issuance, by the State Corporation Commission, of a certificate of public convenience and necessity, for construction of an electrical transmission line of 138 kilovolts and any associated facilities, shall be deemed to satisfy local comprehensive plan requirements and all local zoning ordinances with respect to the transmission line and associated facilities.

The measure defines "associated facilities" as including any station, substation, transition station, and switchyard facilities to be constructed in association with the 138 kilovolt transmission line.

Status: On third reading in the House

Bill: SB 1110 - Utility Facilities Act; associated facilities of an electrical transmission line.

Patron: Stanley

Bill text: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+ful+SB1110 

Summary: Provides that the issuance, by the State Corporation Commission, of a certificate of public convenience and necessity, for construction of an electrical transmission line of 138 kilovolts and any associated facilities shall be deemed to satisfy local comprehensive plan requirements and all local zoning ordinances with respect to the transmission line and associated facilities.

The measure defines "associated facilities" as including any station, substation, transition station, and switchyard facilities to be constructed in association with the 138 kilovolt transmission line

Status: Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
 
Viewshed

Bill: SB 1423 - Electric utilities; viewshed mitigation payments.

Patron: Wagner

Bill text: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+ful+SB1423 

Summary: Requires that any viewshed mitigation payment made by an electric utility be used by the recipient only to implement renewable energy projects, to conduct energy-related research and development programs or projects, or both.

Status: Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
 
Misc.

Bill: HB 2192 – Relocation of Courthouse

Patron: Landes

Bill text: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+ful+HB2192
 

Summary: Provides that in the case of a county courthouse located in a city, the relocation or expansion of the courthouse to any other location within such city is not such a removal as to require authorization by the electorate.

Status: Assigned to Counties Cities & Towns Subcommittee #2

Bill: HB 2313 - Courthouses; county removal.

Patron: Ransone

Bill text: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+sum+HB2313 

Summary: Provides that in the case of the removal of a county courthouse that is not located in a city or town, and is not being relocated to a city or town, such removal shall not require a petition or approval by the voters.

Status: Assigned to Counties Cities & Towns Subcommittee #2

Bill: HB 2356 – Fort Monroe Authority; increases number of members on Board of Trustees.

Patron: Helsel

Bill text: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+sum+HB2356

Summary: Increases the number of members on the Board of Trustees of the Ft. Monroe Authority from 12 to 14. The bill removes the Lieutenant Governor as a member of the Board, provides that the Secretary of Natural Resources and the Secretary of Commerce and Trade shall serve ex officio without voting privileges, and increases from five to eight the number of nonlegislative citizen members appointed by the Governor to the Board. The bill provides for the staggering of terms for the three additional citizen members appointed by the Governor. The bill contains technical amendments.

Status: Referred to Committee on General Laws

Bill: SB 1001 - Fort Monroe Authority Board of Trustees; membership; terms.

Patron: Locke

Bill text: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+ful+SB1001 

Summary: Adds three nonlegislative citizen members to the Fort Monroe Authority Board of Trustees, to be appointed by the Governor. The bill also (i) changes the Secretary of Commerce and Trade and the Secretary of Natural Resources from voting to nonvoting ex officio members, (ii) removes the Lieutenant Governor from membership, and (iii) re-staggers the terms of the eight nonlegislative citizen members appointed by the Governor to have four appointed in 2018 and four appointed in 2019.

Status: Passed by for the day on the Senate floor

Bill: SB 1555 - Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation; board of trustees; duties.

Patron: McDougle

Bill text: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+sum+SB1555  

Summary: Authorizes the board of trustees of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation to enter into contracts for the use and rental of agency facilities, structures, spaces, and personal property under the control of the Foundation.

Status: Referred to Committee on Rules
 
Virginia has amazing historic places all of which provide charm, character and soul to their communities. 

Your investment in our mission ensures 
Preservation Virginia can protect these places
so that future generations may enjoy them.

 
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