By: Rob Harris
As predicted last month, the Virginia legislature inserted itself into local property tax matters by passing a bill that altered the manner in which Arlington County assessed property taxes for the Army Navy Country Club and the Washington Golf and Country Club.
The legislation provides that the golf course property should be assessed as open space rather than residential development, thereby materially reducing the amount of taxes the county could impose.
Into the fray came newly elected governor Ralph Northam, exercising his veto and stopping, at least for the time being, the implementation of the legislation. With the bill having strong support, there remains a risk that the veto will be overridden.
Governor Northam justified his veto on the grounds that the bill was trying to address “a local dispute over a local government’s method of assessing land for property taxation. As such, the solution to this dispute should be reached on the local level without the involvement of the state.”