Northern Virginia Chamber Partnership: Legislative Update
Northern Virginia Chamber Partnership
Economic Development / Business Growth & Retention
Updates made: February 8, 2019. Learn more about the Chamber’s Public Policy Initiative, by clicking here. Join us at our upcoming PolicyMaker Series event, The State of Loudoun’s Towns, on March 13, 2019. Register Here
The Loudoun Chamber is a founding member of the Northern Virginia Chamber Partnership, our region’s oldest and most effective Chamber collaborative – including Reston, Dulles, Tysons and McLean – that is working to support state legislation and policies that advance the Commonwealth’s economy and quality of life.
Now that we have reached the halfway point of the current Virginia General Assembly session, the Partnership is proud to have seen many of our priorities advance. What follows is a report on the Partnership’s Economic Development and Business Growth priorities.
Creation of Major Headquarters Workforce Grant Fund (HB 2356 – Jones & James/SB 1255 – Ruff & Saslaw)
This package provides up to $550 million in incentives for the first 25,000 new jobs that Amazon’s HQ2 project will create, and up to $200 million for Amazon’s next 12,850 jobs. These have already been signed into law.
Tax conformity and reform (HB 2355 – Jones and HB 2529 – Hugo/SB 1372 – Norment)
- Increase in the standard deduction–The House proposes a $4,000 standard deduction for individuals and $6,000 for couples, while the Senate proposes $4,500 and $9,000, respectively.
- De-conformity of state and local tax (SALT) deductions–The Partnership supports maintaining deductions for real and personal property taxes. The House and Senate have not yet reached agreement on this matter.
- Taxpayer Relief Fund– The Senate has proposed a $420 million to fund the Taxpayer Relief Fund, providing up to $110 per taxpayer. The Houses proposes $952 million for a Taxpayer Relief Fund and directs the Tax Department to develop a plan by August 1, 2019, to refund revenues to taxpayers.
Improvements to the 2016 proffer policy (HB 2342 – Thomas/SB 1373 – Favola)
The Partnershipsupports this important correction to the failed 2016 legislation, to promote responsible growth and development by providing a fair and flexible land use approval process, and enable greater communications between developers and local officials.
Extension of the Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit (MBFJTC) program (HB 2003 – Aird)
The Partnership supports extension of this income tax credit to encourage the creation of new full-time jobs, particularly in economically distressed areas or Enterprise Zones.
Reauthorization of important economic development grant programs (HB 2021 – James)
The Partnershipsupports the reauthorization of a variety of grant programs to encourage companies to create new jobs by locating headquarters, administrative, or service sector operations in Virginia.
Increased investment in the Business-Ready Sites program
The House and Senate have both included funding for a program desperately needed to make Virginia competitive for major projects by creating more “business-ready” sites.
Creation of Semiconductor Manufacturing Grant Fund (HB 2180 – Rush/SB 1370 – Norment)
Part of the Commonwealth’s incentive proposal to Micron to expand its Manassas operations, this provides grants of $70 million in FY20 and FY21, based on Micron’s job creation, wage and payroll requirements.
Protection of Virginia’s Right-to-Work statute (HB 1806 – Carter)
The Partnership opposed this legislation, which would have compelled workers to join a labor union as a condition of employment. Facing significant opposition, this legislation failed to advance.
Expand access to broadband
The House budget increases funding by $16 million for FY20 for a total of $24 million over the biennium to assist localities with acquiring access to broadband. The Senate budget increases funding by $15 million in FY20 to “accelerate broadband deployment in unserved areas.