VAR’S Fight to Reduce Grantor’s Tax Increases in Northern Virginia


Some last-minute work by VAR has paid off: In his proposed amendments to Virginia’s transportation bill, Governor Bob McDonnell has asked that the proposed grantor’s tax increase in Northern Virginia be reduced from 25 cents per $100 to only 15 cents.

VA Association of Realtors
Nesbitt Realty is a member of the Virginia Association of Realtors

The bill passed by the General Assembly included a regional package for Planning District Commission 8, which includes a large portion of Northern Virginia. To help raise approximately $30 million for congestion relief, the bill (HB 2313) raised the grantor’s tax in the region by 25 cents per $100.

From the Virginia Association of Realtors:

But when we looked at how the General Assembly arrived at that figure, we noticed something immediately: Its calculations were based on the average grantor taxes collected from 2007-2011 – years that include the worst part of the housing crash.

So we hired Dr. Chris Chmura, a well-known Virginia-based economist, to estimate sales data for the Northern Virginia area. Then, using those figures (ones that are more reflective of the current market), we saw that a 25-cent increase wasn’t necessary.

Working hand-in-hand with local associations whose members would be affected by the increase, we met with the governor’s office repeatedly over several weeks. We showed how the region could raise that $30 million with only a 15 cent per $100 increase in the grantors tax.

Governor McDonnell agreed, and worked our suggested change into his amended bill, which the legislature will consider.

We will now be reaching out to members of the General Assembly to make sure they understand our intentions, most notably, not to do the bill harm.

We think we’ve found a win-win scenario – one that lowers the amount of the grantor tax increase without lowering the amount of money that will flow into PDC 8 for transportation.

Properties in Focus

Will Nesbitt

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Will is the principal broker of Nesbitt Realty and Condo Alexandria. He is licensed in anywhere in the Commonwealth of Virginia, but focuses on those communities found in and around Alexandria, Arlington, Mount Vernon and Springfield/Franconia. Will has been involved in real estate management, sales and investment for more than twenty years. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army. While in the army, he studied Russian at Monterey's Defense Language Institute. He is also a "veteran of the dotcom wars" and built most of the sites associated with Will currently resides in Belle Haven Estates just outside Old Town, overlooking New Alexandria. He is a former president of the Mount Vernon Youth Athletic Association and founded the Alexandria Fun with Friends Group. Will is the author of BattlestorM, a tabletop fantasy game, which was published by Ral Partha Publishing in the late '90's, and Arthur's Realm, a boardgame available at the Gamecrafter.