Public Comments for 02/08/2021 Finance
SB1112 - Research and development expenses; tax credit available against the bank franchise tax.
Last Name: Bruning Organization: Virginia Bankers Association Locality: Glen Allen

Madam Chair and Members of the Committee, the VBA strongly supports Senator Locke's SB 1112. The bill is identical to Delegate Mugler's HB 1916 which passed the Committee and House unanimously. The bill provides Virginia banks access to the Research & Development Tax Credit program to incentive innovation and technology development. There is no fiscal impact as the bill does not change the existing annual cap on the credit. We encourage your support for the bill.

Last Name: Wagner Locality: Gleann Tholastaidh

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SB1130 - Personal property tax; exemption for motor vehicle of a 100 percent disabled veteran.
Last Name: Wagner Locality: Gleann Tholastaidh

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SB1146 - Income tax, state; conformity with the Internal Revenue Code.
Last Name: Rice Locality: Chantilly

I oppose any taxes that would amount to an unexpected and uncalled for burden on struggling family businesses.

Last Name: Robert Melvin Organization: Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association Locality: Richmond

Madam Chair and members of the committee, I would like to take a moment to express our support for SB1146 and the PPP tax deductibility provisions of the bill. That being said, our organization would support changes to this measure that emulates what the federal government did with the most recent round of PPP and allow certain targeted industries to get additional relief. We would recommend that the additional relief should be provided to businesses that were most impacted by COVID-19 mitigation efforts like restaurants, lodging, hair and nail salons, entertainment, and attractions.

Last Name: Durkin Organization: Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce Locality: Roanoke

The Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce prefers the Senate position on tax conformity legislation (SB 1146), which allows up to a $100,000 dollar tax deduction for businesses who utilize PPP loans. It is estimated that a broad majority of small businesses would be covered under this threshold, unlike the direction taken in the House version (HB 1935). Tax conformity is vital now as our businesses enter tax season and any delay will create confusion, while a minimal deduction threshold may lead to an unexpected tax bill for small businesses struggling to survive the pandemic. Please support a $100,000 dollar tax deduction for PPP loans when discussing conformity legislation.

Last Name: Lind Locality: Tazewell

The Payroll Protection Plan is a Federal emergency program designed to help in coping with the economic crisis created by the pandemic, by providing Federal funds to employers, earmarked for paying employee's wages in order to prevent massive layoffs. Congress, by bipartisan agreement, exempted these funds from Federal income taxation, for the obvious reason that they are not discretionary income in any sense of the word. For the state of Virginia to now impose a sudden redefinition of "income" to include these emergency funds, and to proceed to tax them, is not only profoundly unethical, but also undermines the Federal attempt to protect jobs in the crisis. Employees of businesses forced into bankruptcy by this unexpected tax will end up unemployed after all (and probably seek state unemployment benefits), and failed businesses won't pay any more taxes. Businesses that survive the tax will be much less inclined to accept further Federal financial assistance after being punished financially for accepting it this time.

Last Name: Walker Organization: Virginia Society of CPAs Locality: Glen Allen

On behalf of the Virginia Society of CPAs (VSCPA), I strongly urge you to pass tax conformity legislation as quickly as possible, and to ensure that it has the necessary support to pass as emergency legislation. Specifically, I ask that you support Sen. Howell's tax conformity bill (SB 1146) as it was passed in the Senate, which includes expense deductibility of $100,000 for PPP loans and Rebuild Virginia grants for all eligible businesses. This year's conformity situation is more complicated than usual because of the inclusion of significant tax provisions in the federal CARES Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, the latter of which was signed by the President on Dec. 27, 2020. Lack of guidance in relation to Virginia's intent with these provisions has hampered our members' ability to adequately help their clients plan during what has already been a challenging year with significant economic uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While we appreciate conforming to the provision not taxing forgiven PPP loans, Congress's intended benefit from this loan program cannot be achieved if that is not coupled with also allowing deductibility of business expenses funded by the PPP loans. The PPP program was critical to allowing many small businesses, including many CPA firms, to stay in business and avoid layoffs. Additionally, without PPP funding Virginia would not only have been unable to collect payroll and withholding taxes for many employees, there also would've been greater job loss and the need to pay out additional unemployment benefits. As you know, CPAs and other tax practitioners depend heavily on tax conformity legislation to perform their jobs each tax season. Virginia taxpayers cannot adequately file their state taxes each year until the General Assembly addresses conformity. Any additional delay in the effective date of this critical legislation will have cascading effects that will increase the complexity, delay and, potentially, cost of filing tax returns. A speedy resolution to this issue and inclusion of an emergency clause will greatly ease such burdens, allowing tax returns to be filed more quickly. This will allow Virginia to more quickly collect revenue, taxpayers due refunds to more quickly receive their checks, and limit the number of returns needing to be amended. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Last Name: Daugherty Locality: Roanoke County

In Washington, both parties agreed to exempt from federal taxation 100 percent of ALL Payroll Protection Program funds received. If it's good enough for Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, then it should be good enough for the Democrats in the Virginia legislature! Also, we don't want you to come back and raise taxes next year to try to make up for the "losses" of this year. Cut all the goofy unnecessary spending instead.

Last Name: Love Locality: Lanexa

Oppose all tax increases! Support lowering all taxes! There is never a good time to raise taxes. VA has more than enough revenue to do what it needs to. If anything, we need to reign in out of control spending by lowering taxes to support a limited government. Please oppose all tax increases in all of their forms! Thank you!

Last Name: Wagner Locality: Gleann Tholastaidh

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Last Name: Cabana Locality: Fairfax

This bill absolutely should not be passed as written. NO TAX INCREASES for VA Families!

Last Name: Shiley Locality: Augusta

Please Oppose SB 1146--businesses need help, not more taxes to survive.

Last Name: Tennant Locality: James city county

Please don’t support or pass this bill. You’re already killing the middle class. Vote no on higher taxes!

Last Name: Ohta Locality: Centreville

Oppose - Please do not raise taxes at a time when the economy is still trying to recover from the burdens of Wuhan Red Death. And while I am at it, please do not raise taxes, period. The government gets more than enough of our money, please start using it more wisely if you want it to go farther. Thank you,

Last Name: Lynch Locality: Botetourt

This is NOT THE TIME to raise any taxes! It is UNCONSCIONABLE to add to the burdens of working people!

Last Name: nicholls Locality: chesapeake

You are raising taxes and fees for US when we're not getting pay rises??!!!! How is that supposed to fix us back into the booming economy we had before our dictators went berzerk with ruining the economy?

Last Name: Sarkash Organization: Small Business Majority Locality: Washington, D.C.

Dear Chairwoman Watts, Vice Chairman Keam and Members of the Committee: My name is Awesta Sarkash and I’m the Government Affairs Manager for Small Business Majority, a national small business organization whose mission is to empower entrepreneurs to build a thriving and inclusive economy. I am submitting testimony to express my support for Senate Bill 1146 authored by Senator Howell, which would provide up to $50,000 in deductions related to the Rebuild Virginia Grants and up to $50,000 for forgiven PPP loans. As we inch closer toward the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 crisis in the U.S., stories and data from small business owners across the country, and in the Commonwealth, have illuminated the dire reality of what they continue to face. In fact, our most recent survey revealed 52% of small business owners report their revenues are still down today compared to a year ago.1 This is why PPP was and remains such a critical lifeline for Virginia’s small businesses. In December, Congress passed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, which clarified that small business assistance, including PPP forgiven funds, are not taxable income and that deductions are allowed for otherwise deductible expenses paid with the proceeds of this small business assistance. Virginia should follow suit at the state level—otherwise, small businesses will have to navigate inconsistent tax regulations while trying to keep their doors open and their employees paid. SB 1146 would create parity in how PPP funds are treated at both the federal and state level and would allow small businesses not to incur more debt during the pandemic. Additionally, I would recommend increasing the $50,000 cap to the median PPP loan size to help more businesses without providing a tax break to large businesses. I urge you to vote in favor of SB 1146 to support Virginia’s small businesses during this difficult time.

SB1158 - Port of Virginia tax credits; extends the sunset date.
Last Name: Vassey Organization: Virginia Manufacturers Association Locality: Richmond

The Virginia Manufacturers Association has committed to expanding manufactured goods exports 50% by 2025. Maintaining a competitive Port of Virginia is critical to achieving that goal. Extending the Port credit is an important tool in maintaining Virginia's competitiveness. The VMA supports this bill.

Last Name: Fediw Organization: Virginia Maritime Association Locality: Norfolk

The Virginia Maritime Association (VMA) supports SB1158. These tax credits are a critical driver of container volumes through The Port of Virginia, essential to filling the newly-added capacity from their recently-completed terminal optimization projects. These port tax incentive programs have been vital in the recruitment of out-of-state businesses, as well the growth of existing businesses within the state. By extending these credits, VMA member companies, as well as others within the Commonwealth, will be incentivized to increase container throughput.

Last Name: Reynolds Organization: Hampton Roads Chamber Locality: Norfolk

The Hampton Roads Chamber supports SB1158. The port tax incentive programs have been a tool to recruit new business and grow current business within the Commonwealth. This bill will strengthen and grow the relationship between the private industry and the Commonwealth. For these reasons, we ask that you support the bill.

Last Name: Rinehart Organization: The Port of Virginia Locality: Norfolk

The port tax credits are an essential tool to drive container volume to The Port of Virginia to fill the newly realized capacity at the Virginia International Gateway and Norfolk International Terminals. These two completed projects have added 1 million annual container capacity at the port. The port tax incentive programs have been a tool to recruit new business and grow current business within the Commonwealth; therefore, by extending the programs, the relationship with private industry and the Commonwealth will prosper, and port volume growth will continue to grow.

Last Name: Wagner Locality: Gleann Tholastaidh

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SB1162 - Agricultural best management practices; creates individual and corporate income tax credits.
Last Name: Calvert Organization: Virginia Conservation Network Locality: Charlottesville

Virginia Conservation Network requests SUPPORT of SB 1162. Agricultural best management practices (or BMPs), such as fencing cattle out of streams, are one of most cost-effective investments to improve water quality in local streams, rivers, and Chesapeake Bay. One of key limiting factors for implementation of these voluntary practices is funding, and an increase in funding incentives is necessary to achieve our water quality goals for the Chesapeake Bay. This legislation creates an enhanced tax credit for the implementation of certain agricultural BMPs. Tax credits are a more workable incentive for some farmers who might not be able, for religious or other reasons, to accept government payments or participate in current cost-share programs. Please Vote YES on SB 1162.

Last Name: Wagner Locality: Gleann Tholastaidh

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Last Name: Norman Locality: Bedford

Considering the importance of agricultural best management practices, I think any land owner who uses such practices should be entitled to a tax creadit.

SB1163 - Agricultural equipment; establishes a refundable individual and corporate income tax credit.
Last Name: Wagner Locality: Gleann Tholastaidh

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SB1170 - Isle of Wight County; authorized to impose an additional local sales and use tax to support schools.
Last Name: Wagner Locality: Gleann Tholastaidh

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SB1197 - Virginia housing opportunity; tax credit established.
Last Name: Pedowitz Organization: Arlington Chamber of Commerce Locality: Arlington

The Arlington Chamber of Commerce supports SB 1197, a bill to create a Virginia Housing Opportunity Tax Credit. Addressing our housing affordability challenges will require a multi-faceted approach. The Chamber supports both efforts to increase the supply of housing and efforts to ensure access to safe and affordable housing options for our most vulnerable Virginians. The Virginia Housing Opportunity Tax Credit will supplement the Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit to attract more private investment into affordable homebuilding in the Commonwealth. We expect that this credit will be a strong investment in our Commonwealth through its investment in housing. We thus encourage the committee to report the bill.

Last Name: Gordon Organization: Virginia Conservation Network Locality: Richmond

VCN and our 150+ partner organizations are in favor.

Last Name: Laura Bateman Organization: Virginia First Cities and City of Richmond Locality: City of Richmond

The Virginia First Cities Coalition and the City of Richmond requests and supports General Assembly actions to provide local governments with all possible tools to deal with the impacts of a market that, on the one hand, is vibrant, and on the other is driving home prices upward to the point of being unaffordable for a vast majority of residents. Our Virginia First Cities need to increase the supply of affordable housing. The Commonwealth can encourage this by providing local governments additional sources for financing and encouraging all possible resources to leverage federal dollars to the benefit of affordable workforce and senior housing. Any and all tools to encourage private developers and non-profits to develop, construct and/or rehabilitate housing that is affordable should be incentivized by the state. This includes specific support for the enactment of a state tax credit program that will work in tandem with the federal Low Income Tax Credit (LITC) program and is specifically for affordable housing.

Last Name: Easter Organization: ChamberRVA Locality: Chesterfield

ChamberRVA fully supports this bill. A state tax credit would provide a critical component for financing low-income housing projects, which are so badly needed in our region and throughout the state.

Last Name: Bruning Organization: Virginia Bankers Association Locality: Glen Allen

Chairwoman Watts and Members of the Committee, the VBA strongly supports Senator Locke's SB 1197. The creation of a Virginia state level affordable housing tax credit compliments and builds on the existing successful federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. This program will enable another crucial tool, along with existing programs such as the Housing Trust Fund, historic rehabilitation tax credit and other public and private sector efforts. The federal LIHTC program has incentivized the development and creation of affordable housing stock in Virginia, but the need remains acute for further development. Banks are committed partners in addressing this gap, working with borrowers to incorporate the tax credits into their financing as well as direct and syndicated beneficiaries of the credits as investments. We appreciate the inclusion of the bank franchise tax in this proposal. Mirroring the LIHTC program to the greatest extent possible is critical to ensuring ease of use and clarity and consistency in assembling the best financing plan for these projects. Virginia Housing is well positioned to administer the program and allocate the credits to meet the key needs of the Commonwealth. For those reasons, we support the bill as another important component of addressing the considerable and urgent need for affordable housing in Virginia. We were disappointed Delegate Bourne's HB 2050 did not advance and encourage you reconsider embracing this proposal this session.

Last Name: Wagner Locality: Gleann Tholastaidh

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SB1201 - Energy storage systems; definitions, tax exemption, revenue share for systems.
Last Name: Wagner Locality: Gleann Tholastaidh

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SB1252 - Coal tax credits; sunset dates.
Last Name: Wagner Locality: Gleann Tholastaidh

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SB1326 - Local cigarette taxes; regional cigarette tax boards.
Last Name: Wagner Locality: Gleann Tholastaidh

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SB1398 - Retail sales and transient occupancy taxes; room rentals.
Last Name: Wagner Locality: Gleann Tholastaidh

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SB1403 - Retail Sales and Use Tax; exemption for personal protective equipment.
Last Name: Wagner Locality: Gleann Tholastaidh

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SB1423 - Data centers; sales and use tax exemption, identifying a "distressed locality."
Last Name: Wagner Locality: Gleann Tholastaidh

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SB1438 - Combined transient occupancy and food and beverage tax; technical amendments.
Last Name: Curry Organization: County of Rappahannock Locality: County of Rappahannock

Hello, my name is Garrey W. Curry, Jr. and I serve as the County Administrator for Rappahannock County. The Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to support SB1438 and authorized a letter to be sent to our local delegation to that end. I request the committee's support of SB1438, which will align §58.1-3842 with the changes made last year to §58.1-3819 (transient occupancy tax) and §58.1-3833 (food and beverage tax). Thank you in advance for supporting the technical amendment.

Last Name: Curry Organization: County of Rappahannock Locality: Washington

Hello, my name is Garrey W. Curry, Jr. and I serve as the County Administrator for Rappahannock County. The Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to support SB1438 and authorized a letter to be sent to our local delegation to that end. I request the subcommittee's support of SB1438, which will align §58.1-3842 with the changes made last year to §58.1-3819 (transient occupancy tax) and §58.1-3833 (food and beverage tax). Thank you in advance for supporting the technical amendment.

Last Name: Wagner Locality: Gleann Tholastaidh

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End of Comments