Wednesday, June 19, 2019
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Virginia State Sen. Lynwood Lewis Encourages “Yes” Vote on Ballot Question...

The following is by State Senator Lynwood Lewis, partly in response to this argument by Lloyd Snook, regarding the constitutional amendment question, "Should a...

Amendment One-Upsmanship Preys on Localities

Question #2 is a fail for the General Assembly and Virginia. If the members were sincere in their concern for disabled veterans, they would have ponied up the funding required to offset the revenue losses at the local level. Most localities have already done the right thing; the GA hasn't.

Ballot Question #1, much the initiative of Senator George Barker (D-39th), clarifies ambiguity in constitutional wording regarding property tax exemptions. Currently the standard for relief is an "extraordinary tax burden" and essentially leaves it to the General Assembly to define that measure. But the conditions for relief are better defined at the local level. Differences between localities are significant. This amendment essentially sanctions established local standards. The local standards include disabled veterans and generally have equitable exemptions in place.

"City and county governments welcome the flexibility to make those determinations if the amendment passes...Right now, it's dictated by state law. These city and county governments are closest to it and much better able to make that judgment than 140 people sitting in Richmond." - Neal Menkes of the Virginia Municipal League