Public Comments for 01/23/2023 Finance - Subcommittee #1
HB1438 - Oyster Replenishment Fund; oyster resource user fees to be credited to Fund.
Last Name: Leyen Organization: Virginia League of Conservation Voters Locality: Richmond

HB 1438 (Anderson) Oyster shell recycling; creates a nonrefundable tax credit for taxable years 2023 through 2027, etc. The Virginia League of Conservation Voters supports this legislation. The creation of a refundable shell recycling tax credit would boost the number of shells available for restoration projects by incentivizing restaurants and seafood companies and distributors to save their shells. Oyster restoration efforts and their economic benefits to the shellfish industry are currently constrained by the limited number of shells available for restoration. This legislation would make more shells available by encouraging the reuse of oyster shells for restoration purposes.

Last Name: Nicholls Locality: Chesapeake

HB1438 - One thing that folks need, especially those of us who pay the taxes, is a tax credit. Thank you to Del. Anderson for suggesting this bill. Please move to report. HB2261 - God bless Delegate Cordoza for thinking of the seniors and disabled. Please move to report this bill. I know folks that are on limited incomes and with the prices the way they are now, they could use a break.

HB1653 - Income tax, state; eligible low-income taxpayers to claim a refundable tax credit.
Last Name: Horejsi Organization: Social Action Linking Together (SALT) Locality: Fairfax County

On behalf of our 1300 SALT members I urge you to " Vote yes" for House Bill 1653---The EITC is a proven and targeted policy that provides economic relief to working poor families--in need. Unlike other tax proposals being considered this legislative session, such as $500 million in corporate and business tax giveaways, this would only cost $36M in general fund resources. This bill would put about $300 extra in the pockets of a family of four earning $25,000 a year. This equals: Over 4 and a half months of gas bills or 88 gallons of gas . JLARC (Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission) found that last year's EITC was extremely effective at making the state's tax code more fair - This improvement in Virginia’s EITC would benefit the more than 580,000 working Virginians who claim the EITC. 2/3rds of Virginia households earning less than 27,000 - the bottom 20% - will NOT benefit from the standard deduction increase at all. Continuing to improve the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit can reach households who are left out. Nearly 3 in 4 filers who receive the federal EITC have children at home, so this is a transformative policy that will improve health and education outcomes for nearly 700,000 children.

HB1771 - Landlords, participating; increases tax credit that may be issued.
No Comments Available
HB1933 - High school equivalency; creates tax credit.
No Comments Available
HB2043 - Research and development expenses; increases tax credit.
No Comments Available
HB2061 - Income tax, state; Virginia local journalism sustainability credits.
Last Name: Caywood Locality: Virginia Beach

I support HB 2061 Income tax, state; Virginia local journalism sustainability credits. James Madison said, “A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both.” In his day, the means for becoming informed were not a given so the Constitution was amended to protect the freedom of the press. The changes in recent decades have nearly destroyed the businesses that support journalism. The Internet and digitization have upended the concept behind copyright which was based on physical copies. Independent newspapers have been acquired by newspaper chains with less interest in local journalism and a tendency to impose the same corporate views across all the media outlets they own. The chains in turn have been acquired by hedge funds whose profit model is to sell off assets, lay off staff, and discard the gutted shell. As profit has become the over-riding principle for much of the news media, the battle for reader and viewer attention has devolved into sensationalism intended to provoke outrage. Disinformation and conspiracy-mongering are passed off as news. Thus the corporations owning news media are partly responsible for the current state of political polarization. Meanwhile, social media participants freely pass around the work of journalists with little thought for how that news item came to be or what differentiates it from the satire, meme, and misinformation they are also passing around. How are citizens supposed to become informed without local investigative journalism? How do we know what's being covered up when a handful of companies own all the news outlets? How can we make democracy work when the public cannot agree on what is news and what is false? How are we going to rescue the first amendment from the implosion of the newspaper business model? From this nation’s beginning, we have known that a free press is the keystone of democracy. We dare not lose it.

HB2065 - Income tax, state; create tax deduction for teaching materials.
Last Name: Krajnik Organization: Radford University Locality: Roanoke

I am in support of the spirit of this bill. Higher education faculty spend a great deal of their own money for the benefit of student learning, e.g. money to attend professional development courses to keep knowledge and skills current for the content I teach; teaching and learning materials to enhance 'active learning' in the classroom, e.g. markers, poster board; small incentives to add interest and motivation in classes. Any help in making supplies used in classes tax deductible is a help. *area of concern - it's not clear what 'licensed teacher' means. Faculty do not need to be licensed to teach in higher education. I'd like to see this requirement stricken from the language of the bill.

Last Name: Quinn Locality: Woodbridge, VA

This is a comment regarding the proposed bill for reimbursement for teaching materials. Please note that post-secondary professors do not take the PRAXIS or are "licensed" the way K-12 teachers are in Virginia. Professors often have to download educational software (e.g., Screencast-o-matic or Grammarly) that can get expensive, and we often provide materials to our students who struggle with finances (pens, paper, highlighers, books, etc.). We often have to purchase materials (markers for white boards, blue books, etc.) for our own and student access depending on whether we have access to offices during the workday and the work being done by the students in the class. (Faculty without office keys, like adjunct faculty, won't have access to these materials if they teach a night class or Saturday class when normal staff offices are closed).

Last Name: Letiecq Locality: Falls Church

I write as a faculty member and leader of the Virginia Conference of the American Association of University Professors in support of HB2065. Like K-12 teachers, instructors of higher education also spend a significant amount of personal funds to conduct their work and provide the best instruction to their students. Faculty are often out of pocket to attend professional conferences where they connect with their colleagues to present research and stay on the cutting edge of science and technology, to bring that knowledge into the classroom. Faculty often spend hundreds of dollars annually on books that inform their pedagogy and are critical to keep apace with new knowledge creation that they then share with their students. In addition to books, faculty may purchase supplies such as markers and dry erasers because those items are not always provided in classrooms. Faculty may purchase other items to demonstrate a concept or engage in group activities in order for students to have real-world experiences in classrooms. Many faculty also have to use their own personal devices (laptops, cell phones) in order to work in higher education. For example, universities are requiring two-factor ID in order to use university programs (e.g., Blackboard) needed if not required to teach or advise students. It is becoming very costly to work in higher education. Having a state deduction to defray some of those costs would be meaningful to many. I support HB2065 and am grateful to Delegate Lopez for bringing this bill to this committee. Thank you.

HB2099 - Livable home; increases allowable tax credit.
Last Name: Eiffert Organization: Northern Virginia Aging Network Locality: City of Alexandria

NVAN Testimony in Support of HB 2099 January 23, 2023 Good morning – my name is Bob Eiffert and I am testifying on behalf of the Northern Virginia Aging Network (NVAN) in support of Del. Bulova’s HB 2099 to increase the funding for the Livable Homes Tax Credit from $1 million per year to $2 million per year. According to the U.S. Census, more than 950,000 Virginians currently have one or more disabilities. Additionally, more than 25 percent of Virginians will be over the age of 60 by the year 2025. For these individuals, accessible and integrated housing will continue to be one of their highest needs. The Livable Homes Tax Credit is a worthwhile tax incentive for accessible home modifications that keep older adults and people with disabilities in their own homes, making the Commonwealth a more inclusive community for people of all ages and abilities and enabling them to thrive. The Livable Homes Tax Credit program has been a major success since its inception. Applications for tax credits have far exceeded the $1 million allocated for the program since 2012, demonstrating a pattern of demand for increased funding. NVAN urges the General Assembly to double the funds for the program to encourage more accessibility in private homes. NVAN is comprised of the Commissions on Aging, area agencies on aging, service providers and advocacy organizations for older adults from Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William. Thank you for your consideration.

HB2261 - Income tax, state; deduction for elderly and disabled individuals.
Last Name: Nicholls Locality: Chesapeake

HB1438 - One thing that folks need, especially those of us who pay the taxes, is a tax credit. Thank you to Del. Anderson for suggesting this bill. Please move to report. HB2261 - God bless Delegate Cordoza for thinking of the seniors and disabled. Please move to report this bill. I know folks that are on limited incomes and with the prices the way they are now, they could use a break.

Last Name: Gilkey Locality: Fairfax County

I support this bill.

HB2353 - Income tax, state; establishes a subtraction for professional firefighter pension.
Last Name: William Boger Organization: Henrico Professional Fire Fighters Association Locality: Chesterfield County

Virginia is the only state below Pennsylvania that currently taxes firefighter pension income. This leads to retirees, who have given their service and raised their families in Virginia, leaving the state upon retirement. By moving this proposed legislation forward, we can potentially keep these civil servants in state, along with the tax revenue received through other means such as purchases. This is similar to existing programs previously enacted for military veterans in Virginia. Additionally, there would be no additional fiscal impact to Virginia, only a potential negative impact from the small amount of firefighters who retire year to year. It is also important to note that when firefighters retire, they often begin new employment or start "second" careers. By remaining in-state due to favorable pension income tax law, we can retain these skilled workers who have already contributed a career of public service.

End of Comments