Homeowners Exemption Derailed

The Virginia Senate derailed a bill Monday that would have provided homeowners to exempt up to one-fifth of their home's value from property taxes.

The vote means a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that would have given cities and counties the option of a 20 percent exemption on private homes is unlikely to appear on statewide ballots this fall.

The legislation that Governor Tim Kaine had promised as a candidate three years ago was recommitted to the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee, likely for the year.

The vote represents a triumph for Virginia's corporate lobby, which had fought the legislation on grounds that it would boost taxes on business.

Two Senate Democrats Charles Colgan of Prince William and Phillip Puckett of Russell County, sided with the committee's Republican minority to sidetrack the bill.

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