Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell signed into law SB 1257 and HB 2003 providing for an inventory of state-owned land on April 2.
This bill by Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel and Delegate Jim LeMunyon, requires the Department of General Services (DGS) to conduct an inventory of all real property owned by state departments, agencies and institutions by January 1, 2012, and update the inventory at least annually thereafter.
The bill requires DGS to provide a listing of surplus properties on the Department's web site to include parcel identification consistent with national spatial data standards in addition to a street address.
Although McDonnell ordered all agencies to inventory all Old Dominion real property, such an action had not previously occurred since a Blue Ribbon Strike Force on Government Reform appointed by then Governor George Allen recommended in 1994 that "all state agencies should inventory and justify the retention of each individual real estate holding.”
Such inventories have been successful in other states. For example, Georgia now operates the Building, Land and Lease Inventory of Property (BLLIP), providing an interactive web-based geographic information system (GIS) designed to enable registered users to query, search and generate reports using real time information about state owned and leased properties and buildings. Ohio has implemented a Comprehensive Inventory of State Real Property, a database of 53,010 distinct state-owned parcels located throughout all of Ohio's 88 counties.
A comprehensive list of land and assets, up-to-date with their current use, will allow Virginia to assess whether public property is being used and maintained in the most efficient manner possible. It will help save the state money by identifying properties that can be sold, collecting upfront cash and expanding the tax base by letting the private sector develop and use the land and assets that the Commonwealth no longer needs.
Delegate LeMunyon and Sena-tor Vogel worked with MAPPS on the bill and LeMunyon spoke on his legislation at a January 2011 MAPPS Washington Policy Luncheon.