Yesterday, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that the creation of a regional transportation authority to levy taxes was unconstitutional. The tax that the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority had imposed raised the ‘grantors tax’ paid by home sellers in Northern Virginia from $1 per thousand of the sales price or assessed value (whichever is higher, of course) to $5 per thousand! For example: a home selling for $400,000, which used to be subject to a grantors’ tax of $400 at closing, was being taxed $2000 at closing as of January 1st of this year. It was dubbed the ‘goodbye tax’ since it was being paid, in many cases, by people leaving the area, that would never use the roads that the money was being set aside to pay for.
You can read the full Washington Post article here. For the sellers who were already assessed the new tax at their closings (some $8.2 million has already been collected!), instructions on how to receive a refund have not been announced yet. I’ll keep an eye out and will post instructions as soon as they are published.
*EDIT* I just received the following from the Dulles Area Association of Realtors:
The decision does not take effect for 10 days pending further motions that may be filed. The NVTA is expected to review the decision and since the General Assembly is still in session, they may take action to correct the legislative defect with which the Supreme Court took issue. If that occurs, collections could continue. If that doesn’t happen, the refund process for home sellers who paid the additional increase in the grantors tax this year to the NVTA will be communicated once that information is available.
As soon as I hear more, I will pass it along.