HJ56: Constitutional amendment; assessments of real property and tax rates (first reference).

Offered January 11, 2006
Prefiled January 9, 2006
Proposing an amendment to Section 2 of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia, relating to property tax assessments and rates.
Patron-- Frederick

Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, a majority of the members elected to each house agreeing, That the following amendment to the Constitution of Virginia be, and the same hereby is, proposed and referred to the General Assembly at its first regular session held after the next general election of members of the House of Delegates for its concurrence in conformity with the provisions of Section 1 of Article XII of the Constitution of Virginia, namely:

Amend Section 2 of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia as follows:


Section 2.  Assessments.

All assessments of real estate and tangible personal property shall be at their fair market value, to be ascertained as prescribed by law. For the tax year beginning on January 1, 2009, and each tax year thereafter, the assessed value of real property shall be no greater than the assessed value of such property in the preceding tax year plus an increase of one percent and an increase equal to the percentage increase, if any, in the rate of inflation. However, if real property is sold, transferred, improved, or rezoned at the owner's request, it shall be assessed at fair market value for the tax year in which such event occurs. The rate of taxation on real property shall not be increased by more than one percent each year. The General Assembly shall enact such laws as may be necessary to implement the provisions of this section.

The General Assembly may define and classify real estate devoted to agricultural, horticultural, forest, or open space uses, and may by general law authorize any county, city, town, or regional government to allow deferral of, or relief from, portions of taxes otherwise payable on such real estate if it were not so classified, provided the General Assembly shall first determine that classification of such real estate for such purpose is in the public interest for the preservation or conservation of real estate for such uses. In the event the General Assembly defines and classifies real estate for such purposes, it shall prescribe the limits, conditions, and extent of such deferral or relief. No such deferral or relief shall be granted within the territorial limits of any county, city, town, or regional government except by ordinance adopted by the governing body thereof. 

So long as the Commonwealth shall levy upon any public service corporation a State franchise, license, or other similar tax based upon or measured by its gross receipts or gross earnings, or any part thereof, its real estate and tangible personal property shall be assessed by a central State agency, as prescribed by law.