Sample NV/RPAC Candidate Interview Questions
Land Use and Housing
For several years, Northern Virginia has struggled with the effects of infill development and “mansionization” on existing neighborhoods. What measures, if any, would you support to address infill development?
Despite the fact that localities have many land use tools at their disposal, some continue to look to the General Assembly to provide them with additional tools. What is your position on the “land use” tools currently granted by the General Assembly? Would you seek approval for additional tools?
What are your recommendations on residential overcrowding?
What are your thoughts on Accessible Housing (Universal Design) incentives or requirements?
Adequate affordable housing remains a problem for the Northern Virginia area. Among the factors contributing to this problem are regulatory barriers, such as building code and zoning standards, “not in my backyard” sentiments from local residents, and loss of existing affordable housing units. What proposals would you advance to help ease the housing crunch?
Taxation and Government Authority
There are discussions taking place at the state level concerning reform of Virginia’s tax structure, particularly as it relates to business taxation like the BPOL tax. What are your thoughts on these proposals?
Legislation passed during the 2007 General Assembly session changed the basis of the real estate grantor’s tax to the higher of the “stated consideration” (sales price) or the “value of the interest”, which some Clerks of the Court have interpreted to mean the tax assessment value of the property. The tax assessed value may fall up to one year behind the actual market conditions and in today’s environment is likely to be above the fair market value of the property. Would you support legislation to return the grantor’s tax basis back to the “stated consideration,” or sales price, of the property conveyed?
Localities derive most of their tax revenue from fees on real estate holdings and transactions. What is your position on transfer/recordation taxes, developer impact fees and real estate property taxes?
Elected officials must make decisions that will maintain the economic prosperity that makes Northern Virginia an attractive region in which to live and work. They will also face continuing demands to pay for infrastructure needs. Balancing these pressures will be a top priority in the foreseeable future. What policies would you advocate to sustain the economic prospects of Northern Virginia?
How would you address demands for increased infrastructure? What, if any, additional state or local funding sources for infrastructure would you support?
Virginia’s Dillon Rule grants local governments only those powers explicitly given to them by the Virginia General Assembly. What is your position on the Dillon Rule?
Transportation and Infrastructure
The Virginia General Assembly approved significant new funding for transportation in 2013. Now that funding has been approved, there are debates on how to best spend those funds. How would you prioritize both local and regional transportation dollars? What role would factors such as congestion relief, public safety and economic development play in your decisions?
What would be your priority recommendations for road and transit projects?
Do you support making the transportation trust fund “off-limits” to other programs?
Northern Virginia’s local governments are embracing new environmental initiatives to conserve natural resources and become more “green.” Some have proposed voluntary measures or financial assistance, while others would prefer mandated actions. What actions would you support in the areas of energy efficiency?
What is your position on requiring green construction practices, including LEED and other certifications? Do you believe that incentives should be provided to offset the additional costs of green construction?
What is your position on point-of-sale mandates, such as energy audits or system retrofitting, prior to the transfer of real property?
Would you seek additional authority from the General Assembly to implement energy conservation programs? If so, please explain.
Virginia localities are currently revising their stormwater management ordinances to comply with new Chesapeake Bay clean-up regulations. If you were evaluating these proposals as an elected official, how would you balance the obligations on property owners with the need for an improved Chesapeake Bay?