November 2 is election day, and Realtors® may be interested to know that there are two Constitutional amendments on the ballot about property taxes. So as you head to the polls to vote (click here view RPAC’s endorsed candidates), keep in mind that VAR has not taken a position on these constitutional amendments:

(Note: all of the information below was sourced from the Virginia State Board of Elections website)

Ballot Question #1: Article X. Taxation and Finance. Section 6. Exempt Property

Question: Shall Section 6 of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to authorize legislation that will permit localities to establish their own income or financial worth limitations for purposes of granting property tax relief for homeowners not less than 65 years of age or permanently and totally disabled?

EXPLANATION
Present Law
Under the Constitution, the General Assembly may give localities the power to grant full or partial exemptions from real estate taxes to persons 65 years of age or older or for persons permanently and totally disabled. The exemption applies to owner-occupied property used as the sole dwelling of such persons. The exemption is currently available only to such persons who bear “an extraordinary tax burden” in relation to their income and financial worth.
Proposed Amendment
The proposed amendment (i) removes the requirement that tax exemptions are available only to such persons who bear “an extraordinary tax burden,” and (ii) gives the General Assembly authority to permit localities to determine their own income or financial worth limitations for tax exemptions for persons 65 years of age or older or for persons permanently and totally disabled.

EXPLANATION

Present Law

Under the Constitution, the General Assembly may give localities the power to grant full or partial exemptions from real estate taxes to persons 65 years of age or older or for persons permanently and totally disabled. The exemption applies to owner-occupied property used as the sole dwelling of such persons. The exemption is currently available only to such persons who bear “an extraordinary tax burden” in relation to their income and financial worth.

Proposed Amendment

The proposed amendment (i) removes the requirement that tax exemptions are available only to such persons who bear “an extraordinary tax burden,” and (ii) gives the General Assembly authority to permit localities to determine their own income or financial worth limitations for tax exemptions for persons 65 years of age or older or for persons permanently and totally disabled.

Ballot Question #2: Article X. Taxation and Finance. Section 6-A. Property tax exemption for certain veterans

Question: Shall the Constitution be amended to require the General Assembly to provide a real property tax exemption for the principal residence of a veteran, or his or her surviving spouse, if the veteran has a 100 percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability?

EXPLANATION

Present Law

Currently, the Constitution does not grant real estate tax exemptions specifically to veterans. However, the Constitution does allow the General Assembly to give localities the power to grant full or partial exemptions from real estate taxes to persons 65 years of age or older or for persons permanently and totally disabled who “bear an extraordinary tax burden” in relation to their income and financial worth. This exemption applies to owner-occupied property used as the sole dwelling of such persons.

Proposed Amendment

The proposed amendment would require the General Assembly to pass a law exempting from local taxation the principal residence owned and occupied by any veteran with a one hundred percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability. The veteran’s surviving spouse could continue to claim the exemption so long as he or she does not remarry and continues to occupy the home as his or her principal residence.