Governor Bob McDonnell ceremonially signed three new tax credits today designed to spur economic growth and job creation, and reduce congestion, related to the Port of Virginia. The ceremony took place at the Virginia Port Authority's APM Terminals facility in Portsmouth.
"The Port of Virginia is one of the Commonwealth's greatest economic assets. The port and its related businesses annually sustain hundreds of thousands of jobs and generate billions in revenues and payroll. We have to maximize the tremendous advantages the port provides us with in the global economy," said Governor McDonnell. "As the economy begins to recover, and the Panama Canal expansion is completed in 2014, we must be proactive in providing incentives to attract new companies, and help existing businesses expand their operations, in order to maximize the port's full potential. The port is a jobs and economic investment magnet. These credits are designed to capitalize on Virginia's tremendous port assets and continue the pro-growth and job creation policies that have made the Commonwealth the best state in the nation for business."
The governor continued, "The Commonwealth cannot take advantage of the port's potential without addressing our transportation infrastructure needs in Hampton Roads. Our transportation plan, which was adopted with bi-partisan General Assembly support earlier this year, provides a significant investment in Hampton Roads' transportation infrastructure. But, we still must do more to ensure that containers can get in and out of the port by providing incentives to shippers to use more environmentally friendly and congestion-reducing alternatives such as barge and rail."
Senator Frank Wagner (R-Virginia Beach), who sponsored two pieces of the tax credit legislation, said, "With our 50-foot deep channel and our right-to-work laws, Virginia is ripe for investment. These new tax credits will encourage existing Virginia business to expand their operations and national and international manufacturing and distribution companies to locate in the Commonwealth."
"As a long-time advocate for the Port of Virginia, it is great to see Governor McDonnell and the General Assembly recognize the importance of the port to the Virginia economy and take steps to enhance its competitiveness." said Delegate Bob Purkey (R-Virginia Beach). "Our competitors up and down the East Coast have long utilized incentives to attract new business, and these credits will level the playing field and help create much needed jobs throughout Virginia."