2005 Session

Budget Amendments - HB1500 (Member Request)

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Chief Patron: Cox
Historic Resources Easement Program Coordinator

Item 397 #1h

Item 397 #1h

First Year - FY2005 Second Year - FY2006
Natural Resources
Historic Resources, Department of FY2005 $0 FY2006 $70,981 GF
FY2005 0.00 FY2006 1.00 FTE

Page 376, line 42, strike "$2,989,782" and insert "$3,060,763".

(This amendment provides additional general fund resources ($70,981) and a position to the Department of Historic Resources for the addition of a full-time historic easement program coordinator. Historic easements are often the most economically efficient method of preserving Virginia's historic structures because they are voluntarily entered into by property owners in exchange for a reduction in the owner's tax burden. Consequently, once granted, the easement ensures the continued maintenance of the historic property at the owner's expense for both his and other Virginians' benefit. The need for additional resources for this function is supported by an increase in the total number of easements and the growing complexity of the program. In fiscal year 1995, the last year in which the agency had a full-time easement coordinator, the program consisted of 211 properties, most owned by the people who had established the easement. Today, while the agency lacks a full-time coordinator, it holds 377 easements (an 83 percent increase) and many of the properties have transferred to owners who may be unaware that an easement even exists. The Internal Revenue Service requires that any organization authorized to accept easements be capable of inspecting those easements and ensuring that easement conditions are followed. If the organization cannot accomplish these tasks, then the Internal Revenue Service can forbid it from accepting any additional easements. Because other staff have to provide these functions as time permits, inspections and technical assistance to owners are not being performed as frequently as needed.)