Proposed 2007 Legislative Priorities
Land Use and Growth Management
· Local Authority: Request the legislature 1) Strengthen local authority in land use decisions; 2) Provide high-growth jurisdictions with growth management tools such as adequate public facilities ordinances and impact fees; and 3) Oppose any preemption or circumvention of existing local authority to regulate land use.
· Conservation Easements: Request the legislature support and augment local efforts in natural resource protection through 1) Continuing to fund the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation (VLCF) for locally established and funded Purchase of Development Rights programs (e.g. ACE Program in Albemarle County); 2) Retaining current provisions in transient occupancy tax legislation so that funds can continue to be used to protect open-space and resources of historical, cultural, ecological and scenic value that attract tourism; and 3) Maintaining existing incentives for citizens to create conservation easements.
● Scenic Protection and Tourist Enhancement: Request enabling legislation for an Albemarle County pilot program to provide for a scenic protection and tourist enhancement overlay district. As the County pursues options to protect the visual quality of land as an aesthetic and economic resource, this legislation would provide the County with a method to ensure full consideration of visual resources and scenic areas when the County or state makes land use decisions in designated areas.
● Transportation Funding: Request the legislature establish stable and consistent state revenues for Virginia’s long-term transportation infrastructure needs. The state should direct its funding efforts at all transportation modes and coordinate planning for transportation and land use, being mindful of local Comprehensive and regional Transportation Plans when planning transportation systems within a locality.
· Use of Primary Funding on Urban Construction Projects: Amend Section 33.1-23.2 of the Code of Virginia to allow for the application of primary funding to projects maintained by a municipality, without a corresponding decrease in their urban construction allocation, only when the route is on the National Highway System (NHS). This would enable the Commonwealth Transportation Board to allocate primary funding to projects located on a NHS route within an urban municipality to accelerate funding of projects. Routes designated as part of the NHS, by act of Congress, are deemed to have regional or national significance.
Health and Human Services
● Comprehensive Services Act (CSA): Request the legislature fully fund CSA mandates, including obligations for administrative overhead and children, both of which have been shifted to localities in recent years.
● Reauthorization of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Program: Request the state take advantage of the federal reauthorization of TANF by streamlining eligibility requirements and providing maximum flexibility to localities so counties can implement the TANF program that best meets local needs. Further, that the state provide sufficient funding to support the expanded VIEW population with funds for childcare, Medicaid, employment services and related administrative expenses.
· Child Care for Low Income Working Families: Request the legislature provide sufficient matching funds to local governments to assist low-income working and TANF families with childcare costs. This funding helps working-class parents pay for supervised day care facilities and supports efforts for families to become self-sufficient.
● Quality E-911 Systems and Service Delivery: To ensure the safety of Virginia citizens, request support for legislation that would have private branch exchange (PBX) telephone systems report an exact location to the 911 system for each line so that optimal information is provided to responding emergency workers.
Local Government Administration / Laws
● Full Funding of State Mandates: Request the state provide full funding for its mandates in all areas of local government including the Standards of Quality (SOQs), positions approved by the Compensation Board and costs related to jails and juvenile detention centers. These mandates have been shifted to localities in recent years.
● Local Control of Real Property Taxation: Request the legislature take no action to restrict or limit the local control of real property taxation.
· Personal Property Tax Relief: Request the legislature provide funding for tax relief under the Personal Property Tax Relief Act (PPTRA) at the 70% level of relief. Funding provided by the legislature has not met this level in 2006.