HOUSING, WORKING & BUSINESS

COMMENTARY

Why are Virginia counties regulating starter homes out of existence?

BY: - January 18, 2023

Five years ago, before the pandemic-driven demand for more space and the en masse entrance of millenials to the housing market, the median home sales price in the commonwealth sat at $290,000. Last year that figure hit $390,000 — a $100,000 jump over a period during which Virginians’ median household income actually shrank by $2,975, […]

Proposal to reduce cosmetology licensure hours sparks backlash

BY: - November 29, 2022

The General Laws Subcommittee room was filled to the brim and unusually colorful on an afternoon in March 2022.  Approximately 50 cosmetology students, some sporting bright neon hair, had traveled from across the state to oppose a bill from Sen. Dave Marsden, D-Fairfax, that aimed to reduce the number of training hours required for a […]

U.S. House to intervene in rail workers strike, heeding Biden call

BY: - November 28, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday said the House will take up legislation to ratify an agreement between rail workers and operators in order to avert a nationwide rail strike. “This week, the House will take up a bill adopting the Tentative Agreement — with no poison pills or changes to the […]

COMMENTARY

Governor Glenn Youngkin, YIMBY-in-chief?

BY: - November 21, 2022

Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin and California Democrats could hardly be further apart politically; however, their diagnoses of what is wrong with America’s housing market sound uncannily similar: Excessive regulation has hindered new housing construction, driving up home prices to the point of hurting the broader economy.  After a string of big legislative wins in Sacramento […]

Construction

4 takeaways on housing in light of Thursday’s inflation report

BY: - November 11, 2022

Housing costs, including rental prices, are on the path to stabilizing but evidence of this won’t show up in inflation measures anytime soon, economists say. The latest Consumer Price Index numbers, which are used to measure inflation, came out Thursday morning and showed a notable easing. But the survey used to measure shelter, a large component […]

Virginia’s highest tax bracket starts at $17K. Some say it’s time for an update.

BY: - November 4, 2022

Under Virginia’s state income tax system, the highest tax bracket starts at just $17,000, a number that hasn’t changed since 1990. Because the brackets stayed the same as incomes rose over three decades of inflation, more and more of the money Virginians make is now taxed at the highest rate of 5.75%, according to a […]

Report: Virginia Lottery should be state’s primary gambling regulator

BY: - October 17, 2022

Virginia should give a single state agency the power to regulate most gambling, according to a new report that found splitting those duties among multiple agencies is creating oversight and enforcement gaps in a rapidly expanding industry. Nonpartisan policy analysts also determined a casino in Petersburg would be viable, while leaving it to the General […]

Amid push for local investment, report offers glimpse of Norfolk development group activities

BY: - October 17, 2022

In a report required by Norfolk City Council, Hampton Roads Ventures, the for-profit development subsidiary of the city’s housing authority, says that it has met with representatives of several Norfolk projects including a shared kitchen, a grocery store, and a health and wellness center, but has not completed deals to invest in them. HRV also […]

After years of effort, Virginia is giving lower-income workers a major tax break

BY: - September 16, 2022

Mercedes Benson, a single mom who makes a little under $50,000 a year running a coffee shop in Richmond, doesn’t usually expect things to go her way during tax season. On her state income taxes, Benson said she usually owes money or gets a tiny refund that doesn’t go very far. But as she tries […]

As rural homelessness increases, HUD aims money at helping people without access to shelters

BY: - September 13, 2022

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has opened up millions of dollars in funding for groups serving unhoused people in rural areas — an unprecedented move by the agency, say housing advocates. People living in cars, parks and on the street at night, which the agency labels unsheltered homelessness, have increased across the nation, […]

After tax change, Virginia sees 63% bump in revenue from sports betting

BY: - September 6, 2022

Virginia’s tax revenues from sports betting jumped 63% between June and July after state lawmakers ended what some described as a loophole that let betting apps deduct free-bet promos from their profits. According to Virginia Lottery reports, sports betting revenues rose from $1.87 million in June to $3.06 million in July, the first month the […]

The 21st century’s canary in the coal mine is a robotic dog named Spot

BY: - September 1, 2022

GLEN ALLEN — Coal miners had their canaries to sniff out deadly carbon monoxide before the gas could overcome them.  Now, with coal on its way out, nuclear plants are turning to a 21st-century warning system to shield workers from radiation: a robotic dog named Spot.  “You can’t see radiation,” said Joshua Bell, a nuclear […]