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Cash-strapped governments ramping up tax-collection efforts

Tax officials in the DC area are trying new, and maybe extraordinary, efforts to collect tens of millions of dollars in delinquent payments. These efforts are hoping to help combat the huge projected budget deficits that threaten to slash public services.

Together, DC area localities are owed more than $40 million in overdue real estate taxes from fiscal 2010. In Arlington, real estate tax delinquency has nearly tripled since 2003.

Though collecting cars and the other measures may seem extreme, they ultimately may seem minor compared to the cuts to public service that may happen.

Read more at the Washington Examiner.

Cheery outlook for Richmond commercial market

As sour as the economy has been lately, a panel of executives from four of the region's largest REITs were downright bullish about the outlook for commercial investment in Richmond and other second tier cities. 

Community land trust forum coming October 26

On October 26, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond will host a one day forum on community land trusts. Targeted to affordable housing practitioners, financial institutions, foundations, and local and state policymakers, this forum will provide an overview of how shared equity models, and community land trusts in particular, can preserve long-term affordable homeownership and stabilize neighborhoods impacted by foreclosure.

To register, visit the Virginia Housing Development Authority. The deadline to register is October 18.

DEVELOPING: DoD seeks spending cuts in VA

Virginia's economy stands to take a heavy blow if Secretary of Defense Robert Gates's proposal to cut the Pentagon's budget goes ahead as planned.  And there's little recourse for the Commonwealth's political leaders who are obviously concerned about the proposed cuts: Congress doesn't need to approve them.  Here's what's at stake in the Commonwealth.

State courts bidders for new U.S. 460

VDOT is hoping to coax private developers to bid on the chance to build and operate a new multibillion-dollar U.S.  Route 460 as a toll road. To drum up interest, the state is offering cash and other incentives.

Without an offer of public funds, the project has gone nowhere. Officials hope the promise of a public partnership will stimulate interest.

The new U.S. 460 will be a  55-mile, four-lane, divided highway between Suffolk and Petersburg. 

Read more from The Virginian-Pilot....

Press conference recording for 2Q home sales report released

An audio recording of today's press conference (right-click to download 7 MB mp3 file) with commentary from some of the state's leading brokers about VAR's second quarter home sales report is now available for download. The brokers in the call are:

Planning begins for future Herndon-Monroe Metro station

Town officials in Herndon are preparing residents and business owners for the new  Herndon-Monroe Metro station, which is slated to open in 2016. Plans are afoot to make the area surrounding the coming station more appealing to passengers. Officials would like to see the area transformed into an attractive, walkable urban community.

Homeowners should take advantage of opportunities to be heard during this planning process. If well executed, careful development could make the area surrounding the Metro station pleasant and inviting. Prices of nearby homes could be positively affected.

Read more in The Washington Post....

Virginia Beach will buy, preserve land off Shore Drive

Virginia Beach and several conservation groups will purchase 122 acres of land off Shore Drive. The land had been marked for a housing development, but will now be preserved in its natural state. It is the last major tract of undeveloped land along the Lynnhaven River. 

Read more in The Virginian-Pilot....

In 2011 online CE must be ARELLO approved

For the vast majority of Realtors®, satisfying the Virginia Real Estate Board's (VREB) continuing education (CE) requirements is something you do to improve yourself and your professionalism. To stay current on what's happening in the industry, you seek out high-quality education like (shameless plug) the REal Show, courses from your local association, or from other approved real estate schools.

Housing policy advisory committee wants your input

Gov. McDonnell has embarked on a mission to create the Commonwealth's first statewide housing policy. The policy is expected to guide the Commonwealth's approach to issues such as homelessness, affordable housing, workforce housing, economic development, healthy neighborhoods, effective coordination with transportation, environmental issues and other housing related opportunities.

Time is running out to provide comments or ideas to Gov. McDonnell's Housing Policy Advisory Committee. On July 9, the suggestion box will be closed. If you'd like to provide input to the Advisory Committee, act now.