McDonnell pushes jobs and economic development proposals

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Gov. Bob McDonnell pushed his economic development agenda Wednesday, which includes plans to boost Virginia’s agriculture and forestry industry and encourage more capital investment in small businesses.

McDonnell listed a variety of bills that will be introduced in this year’s General Assembly session designed to encourage job creation and business investment in Virginia.

“Unfortunately, more than 260,000 Virginians are still out of a job, which is unacceptable, and that is why job creation and economic development remains my top priority,” McDonnell said.

The legislation includes plans to increase access to capital for businesses and increase economic development cooperation. The governor’s budget also increases funding for a number of job investment initiatives, including, $4 million for improvements at Wallops Island, $1 million each year for advertising and marketing Virginia’s tourism industry and $2 million each year for non-credit courses at community colleges.

McDonnell’s economic development jobs legislation includes:

• Small business investor tax credit. This would provide for a tax credit for individual investors who invest in qualified small businesses for at least two years. The tax credit would be equal to 10 percent of the investment.

• Extend the Acceleration of the Major Business Facility Jobs Tax Credit. The tax credit will be adjusted through Dec. 31, 2014.

• Extend the capital gains income tax deduction for certain investments in technology and science startup businesses. Extends deductions on income taxed federally as long-term capital gain that is related to investment in a technology or science start-up business. This provision would extend the deduction to investments made before 2015.

• Add VEDP board composition to include Secretaries of Agriculture and Forestry and Technology.

• Create economic development grant program targeted specifically at agricultural and forestry operations. Large grants ($50,000 or more) will be provided for localities that are working with companies that provide processing operations for Virginia grown products. Grants of less than $50,000 will be available for localities to plan and provide infrastructure to encourage agricultural and forestry investment.  The competitive grants will be issued based on a review by an advisory committee. Localities will be required to provide a matching grant.

• Add two university seats to the Modeling and Simulation Advisory Council.

• McDonnell wants the following additional or new funds for economic development initiatives.

Initative, Amount in fiscal year FY2013FY2014
Life sciences initiative $5,000,000$5,000,000
Wallops Island launch site improvements $4,000,000N/A
Non-credit courses at community colleges$2,000,000 $2,000,000
Mega site planning grants$2,000,000 N/A
Work-force development with CCAM and Tobacco CommissionN/A$2,000,000
Offshore wind energy$500,000N/A
Governor’s Agriculture and Forest Industries Development Fund$1,000,000 $1,000,000
Domestic and International marketing at the Virginia Economic Development Partnership$1,000,000 ——
Advertising and marketing at Tourism$1,000,000 $1,000,000
Modeling and simulation initiative in the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)$480,000$800,000
Cyber security initiative in the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)$520,000$480,000
Marketing grant funds at Tourism$575,000 $575,000
Regional marketing initiatives at the Virginia Economic Development Partnership$500,000 ——
Motion Picture Opportunity Fund $500,000 $500,000
Jobs For Virginia Graduates program$250,000 $250,000
International marketing of Virginia agricultural products$260,226 $410,226
Oversight for Virginia Winery Distribution Company $62,258   $61,258
Commercialization of specialty crops $50,000   $50,000
Small business investor tax credit $1,500,000   $1,500,000


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