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FIVE FOR FRIDAY: A weekly roundup of Public Policy News
Welcome to FIVE FOR FRIDAY: A weekly roundup of Public Policy Issues and Headlines from around the Northern Virginia Region, the Commonwealth and on Capitol Hill.
- NAR Concerned over Proposed Limitations on Real Estate Investment
On September 7, 2021, NAR sent a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate tax writing committees expressing concerns about proposals to limit tax benefits for real estate investment. Especially troublesome are proposed limitations on the use of like-kind exchanges, a proposed increase in the capital gains tax rate, and a proposal to tax unrealized capital gains at death for owners of properties with assets over certain levels. All of these would negatively impact the health of the commercial real estate market and could also limit the production of much-needed affordable rental housing and even result in higher rent costs.
As Congress considers budget reconciliation legislation, NAR urges lawmakers to carefully consider any revenue raising provisions and take into consideration the current housing supply crisis, especially as our nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The current state of the real estate market does not afford many Americans from low- and middle-income households the opportunity to purchase and own a home. In many parts of our nation, Americans are struggling to find decent and affordable rental housing. These conditions suppress the true growth potential of individuals, families, and our economy.
- Virginia leads nation in distribution of federal rent relief
Virginia has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Treasury as the top state for distributing rent relief payments to landlords and tenants. Virginia was one of the first states to establish a rent relief program in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to DHCD, through July and August of this year, the program has administered an average of $11.6 million in funding each week. That means more than $2 million per day potentially going to you and your clients.
According to the U.S. Treasury, as of June 2021, Virginia had distributed 43% of its total funding, amounting to more than $250 million. The closest state to the commonwealth is Texas, which has distributed about 35% of its funding, while 40 states have allocated less than 10% of funding in the same timeframe. Virginia’s Rent Relief Program has provided more than 57,000 rental payments.
- Silver Line’s second phase could open to passengers early next year
Metro officials said Thursday that construction of the Silver Line’s second phase could be complete in November, paving the way for a possible opening of the long-delayed project during the first part of next year. Construction of the nearly 11-mile extension would bring rail service from the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station to Dulles International Airport and through to Ashburn. The latest estimate for opening comes after the project has been plagued by issues, including misaligned track and weak concrete panels, that have delayed its opening by nearly two years.
- Get Involved in Northern Virginia’s Transportation Future
What are your transportation priorities? Is it to reduce congestion? Decrease fuel consumption? The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority has launched a survey to better understand the transportation needs of the community.
You can learn more about the survey, NVTA, and reducing traffic in Fairfax County on NVTA's website.
The survey is open to the public until Friday, September 17, 2021.
- Here's how Metro could transform the Blue, Orange and Silver lines in the coming decades
Washington Business Journal (Subscription required for some articles) The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is outlining a slew of multibillion-dollar alternatives to improve the capacity and reliability of the Blue, Orange and Silver lines — and almost all of them include building new tunnels through the District, Northern Virginia or suburban Maryland. The latest update comes ahead of the WMATA board's finance and capital committee meeting Thursday, when Metro staff will present six alternatives for dealing with the crowded conditions and delayed service that impacts the three lines’ reliability.