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From the Chair (April 2024)

Time marches on! It is hard to believe that the endpoint of the second “reboot” year of the Council is in sight. Coming up in the last quarter of our year are two important dates to circle on your calendar: the annual Legislative Review on 23 April (7 p.m. in Braddock Hall) and the 19 June BDC business meeting and board elections.

 

As regards the Legislative Review, this year’s General Assembly certainly had its share of drama. The “Veto Session” is on 11 April and the biennial budget has not been nailed down yet, so there is always the chance of a special session which could affect the scheduled date for our Richmond delegation to meet with us. Should this happen, we will get the word out via all our channels.

 

As regards the BDC board elections, the current members are willing to serve another term, but if anyone is interested in being on the board, please let me know before 30 April.

 

The recent Braddock District Tree Forum (of which the BDC was an official sponsor) hosted by Jeanne Kadet, Braddock District representative on the County’s Tree Commission, was very successful. Three speakers provided valuable information about fighting tree pests, how to plant trees, and the overall value of trees for the environment and quality of life.

 

The presentation given at the meeting on 26 March by John Morrill, Division Manager, Fairfax County Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination (OEEC) covered programs and incentives available to help homeowners and HOA communities make energy improvements to their properties. John provided details on the County’s Energy Conservation Assistance Program and Charge Up Fairfax Program as well as financial assistance available at the local, state and federal level for energy-efficiency upgrades including energy audits, weatherization projects, solar installations, and electric vehicle charging stations.  Check the website under “Meetings and Events” (March 26, 2024) or click on this link which contains contact information and other links:

 

Paul Hartwell, Aging in Place Coordinator, has announced the next AIP presentation on the topic “Rest Easy: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep” on April 16, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. This is a virtual meeting and Paul provided the link to the AIP mailing list. To ensure that only BDC/AIP members have access to the meeting link, it is not provided here. If you are not on the AIP mailing list, please send an email request to bdcfxvicechair@gmail.com to be added.

 

An important item brought up at the 26 March meeting had to do with the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA). The CTA was designed to help fight money laundering. However, its scope extends far beyond commercial business enterprises. As discussed in previous newsletters, the CTA imposes a requirement on any corporation registered with its respective state corporation commission to report “Beneficial Ownership Information” (BOI) as of 1 January, 2025, to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the criminal enforcement arm of the Treasury Department. There are some new developments. Here is what we know so far:

 

  • On 1 March, 2024, the United States District  Court, Northern District of Alabama, Northeastern Division, issued a summary judgement (case number Case No. 5:22-cv-1448-LCB) that invalidated the CTA on constitutional grounds. The Justice Department appealed the judgement on 11 March, so the matter is still in the courts.

  • As a result of the judgement, FinCEN agreed to non-enforcement of the reporting requirements for the plaintiffs (a named “beneficial owner,” the National Small Business Association, and members of the National Small Business Association (as of March 1, 2024). Left unsettled was the enforcement of the requirement for the millions of not-for-profit, incorporated community and other types of not-for-profit “social good” associations across the country

  • Congress passed legislation in late December, 2023, amending the CTA, but only in making a few slight wording changes which did not address the reporting requirement.

 

The conclusion at this time is that BDC members (and the BDC itself) should be prepared to make the report by 1 January, 2025. Associations with management companies and/or a law firm should seek guidance from these entities as to your responsibility under the law as written. In the meantime, as discussed at the meeting, BDC member associations and your residents are strongly encouraged to contact Congressman Connolly and our two U.S. Senators (Mark Warner and Tim Kaine) to express concern about this unnecessary and burdensome requirement. If any member gets feedback from contacting our elected representatives, please let me know so we can share it with other members.

 

I look forward to seeing you at the upcoming Legislative Review on 23 April and the 19 June BDC business meeting. In the meantime, enjoy the return of springtime!

 

 

Bob Cosgriff

Chair, BDC

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