A Reston legislator expects to introduce a bill to make fees paid to homeowner associations deductible from state income taxes when the Virginia legislature convenes in January.
Homeowner associations in planned unit developments, such those that make up most of Reston, collect fees which are used to provide services, such as street maintenance, snow removal and trash collection. In other communities these services are provided by local governments and paid for with local tax revenues, said Del. Kenneth R. Plum (D-Dist. 36), who plans to introduce the bill.
Condominium owners associations have asked to be included in the bill. And a joint subcommittee of the House of Delegates and Senate finance committees was named to study the possibility. The subcommittee, headed by Del. Claude Anderson (D-Dist. 27), held public hearings in Reston and Richmond and is to submit its report to the legislature in January.
Anderson said, however, that he believes a bill providing for tax exemptions will have little chance of passing next year.
"This is a terrible time to grant exemptions, when the state budget is being cut," said Anderson, noting that Gov. Charles Robb has cut 5 percent from the budgets of all state agencies. "Every bit of exemption will put us in more financial trouble. State revenue is far below the amount projected because of the economy," he said.
Plum counters that granting a tax deducation to homeowner groups "is encouraging local self-help. We're not talking about a huge number of dollars. At a time when we are talking about people helping themselves, I would like to see taxing take this into account."