According to the Washington Post Blog, Arlington County can fill a $65 million budget gap, which is shared with the school system, by increasing the property tax rate by 6.7 cents and by cutting more than $16 million in operational costs, the acting Arlington County Manager told county board members Tuesday. The proposed $941.8 million budget is $5 million less than the fiscal 2010 budget. It includes 87 fewer county employee positions, 20 of which are currently filled. Libraries will close one service day a week and reduce hours. Funds for mowing and other county maintenance also will be cut.
The most pressing issue of the current General Assembly session is the looming $4 billion budget shortfall. Governor McDonnell has vowed to veto any tax increases, so legislators must make massive spending cuts in order to balance the state budget. Localities will be hit hard, especially in the areas of education, transportation and public safety. Below is a compilation of links to stories pertaining to budget-related issues within the last week. It is clear that local governments are grappling with similar issues throughout the state.
From the Virginia Homeowners Alliance:
The Virginia Senate and House of Delegates unveiled their competing budgets proposals yesterday. Each year the Senate Finance committee and House Appropriations committee are charged with crafting or, in odd-numbered years, amending, the biennial state budget. This year is one of the most dire of those that the body's most senior legislators can recall, with a $4 billion budget shortfall in the wake of an economic collapse and a sharp decline in state tax collections since 2007. Early in his term, Governor McDonnell vowed to veto any tax increases, leaving legislators to rely heavily on deep spending cuts.
As Realtors® from across the Commonwealth arrived in Richmond for Realtor Day on the Hill last week, your VAR lobbying team was putting the finishing touches on advancing the 2010 Legislative Agenda (one of the most ambitious ever for VAR).
Here's where we stand on the bills:
Write it down: April 10-11. Nationwide Open House weekend.
Buyers agents, grab your clients — it’s too convenient an event to miss. (“No, no — you don’t have to buy anything. Let’s just take a look, because there are so many open houses around here. I’ll pick you up at 10, OK? Who knows, maybe you’ll fall in love with something.”)
Brokers, man your listings! Make sure as many homes as possible are open and inviting. Schedule your Realtors to be there with smiles on their faces and warm cookies on the table.
This course will cover financing options available for real estate transactions and provide you with the knowledge you need to handle more difficult deals. Approved for CE/PL. Additional info at www.VARealtor.com/GRI.
Ready to get in to the new VARealtor.com? Watch this 4:40 video for a full tutorial.
For your first login VAR Members will need to use their e-mail address as their username and NRDS ID number (including any leading letters or zeros) as the password.
You can change your password at any time, but you must log in with the e-mail address on file with NAR. Go to VARealtor.com/NRDS to update your membership information with NAR. Changes will be reflected within 24 hours.
Onsite Registration Fees
- $95 CRS Chapter Member
- $115 Non-CRS Chapter Member
Virginia CRS 2011: Social Media Fusion + Video Explosion
Richmond Hilton Hotel Spa/Short Pump
12041 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23233
Room Block: Full
Government and lenders see foreclosure prevention efforts failing. Now for plan B. Or are we on plan H now?
WaPo reports that many banks (and even Fannie and Freddie) are learning that foreclosure prevention efforts aren’t reaching as many people as hoped, and are developing foreclosure alternatives.
Citigroup, for instance, plans to announce a pilot program on Thursday that would allow delinquent borrowers who don't qualify for or decline mortgage relief the opportunity to stay in their homes without making payments for up to six months before turning over the keys, in return for keeping the property in good condition. The bank estimates that up to 20,000 borrowers in Texas, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey and Ohio could be eligible.