The 2021 Virginia General Assembly kicked off on Wednesday, January 13th under unique circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 40 members of the state Senate are meeting in a spacious hall at the Science Museum of Virginia, while the 100 members of the House of Delegates will conduct a virtual only session. Either way, advocacy efforts from our Government Relations team and fellow REALTORS® will be almost exclusively virtual and remote.
Our team is currently vetting more than 1,000 pieces of legislation to determine if those bills will have any impact, positive or negative, on you and your business. We’ll present those proposals to the Virginia REALTORS® Public Policy Committee, where our volunteer leaders will discuss and determine the official position of our Association on each bill.
We’ll keep you posted on those developments of the 2021 Virginia General Assembly session as well as the process of our 2021 Legislative Agenda.
Another significant task before the legislators is making amendments to the current 2-year state budget. A major concern of policy makers in 2020 was how to handle the potential negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the budget. But, as we detailed in November, the state budget was doing better than expected, and in no small part to the real estate sector. New 2020 end-of-year numbers bear that out as well.
In a release by the Governor’s office, it noted that “General Fund revenue collections up 15.1 percent from previous year and fiscal year-to-date collections up 7.8 percent.” Recordation taxes were $63.6 million in December, compared with $40.4 million in December of last year, an increase of 57.3 percent. On a year-to-date basis, recordation tax collection is up 38.9 percent, far ahead of the annual forecast of 13.6 percent growth.
Last spring, our team worked diligently with legislators and administration officials to keep REALTORS® in business, while many other states were limited or outright prohibited from conducting business. Thanks to the dedicated effort of REALTORS® to abide by the public health guidelines and conduct business in a safe and effective manner, our industry once again shone as a bright spot in the Virginia economy.
If you have questions or comments about our advocacy efforts, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.