Governor Bob McDonnell ceremonially signed six bills to make Virginia more competitive in creating and retaining high-tech jobs today at the grand opening for the new Acentia headquarters in Fairfax. He was joined by legislators, local elected officials, Northern Virginia Technology Council President and CEO Bobbie Kilberg, Acentia CEO Todd Stottlemeyer and other technology industry representatives. The bills expand a data center sales tax exemption, encourage investment in technology startups and extend the Virginia telework tax credit. After signing the bills, the governor cut the ribbon for the new corporate headquarters of Acentia, which announced its move from Silver Spring, Maryland to Falls Church in January of this year. The project will create 60 new jobs.
Speaking about the legislation signed today and the official opening of Acentia's new headquarters in Virginia, Governor McDonnell said, "The bills signed today will help make sure that when companies look for a place to start or relocate their technology startup or datacenter, that Virginia will be at the top of their list. Virginia already has the highest concentration of high-tech workers in the nation and these bills will help bring more of these good jobs to our skilled workforce. As with many of the accomplishments of this session, these bills were a bipartisan effort. I thank Senators Herring and McDougle and Delegate Comstock for their leadership in the Senate and House in advocating for these bills. They will help Virginia attract, retain and grow more companies like Acentia, which just brought 60 jobs to Falls Church. As my administration aggressively looks for the next Acentia to move to Arlington or Bristol or Newport News, this legislation helps us make the case, and will ultimately help bring jobs to Virginians."
President and CEO of the Northern Virginia Technology Council Bobbie Kilberg said, "A vibrant and growing technology industry creates good-paying jobs for Virginians. These bills, with strong support from the NVTC and signed today by Governor McDonnell, make the state more competitive for these jobs. This legislation sends the right signal to the community of high-tech firms and entrepreneurs in Virginia, as well as those in other states and around the world."
Delegate Barbara Comstock, House patron of all three bills signed today, said, "Virginia starts from a position of strength in attracting and retaining high-tech jobs and employers, and we have to constantly build on this success by listening to our business community and working with them to create a pro-jobs environment that rewards innovation and promotes prosperity for all. The legislation signed by the governor today demonstrates to employers and employees in the high-tech industry that we have leadership in Richmond that will work side by side with them to compete and succeed in Virginia."
Prior to the bill signing, Governor McDonnell met with a group of data center CEOs about future investment opportunities in Virginia.
Hossein Fateh, President and CEO of DuPont Fabros Technology, said, "Our company had a decision to make in terms of where we would expand our data center facilities. The Governor's bill was the critical factor in our decision to immediately invest over $100 million in expanding our Ashburn facility. This construction project and the jobs associated with it will begin in a matter of weeks and are a direct result of the data center bill."
Will Castleberry, State Public Policy Director for Facebook, said, "This legislation will be instrumental in continued investment Northern Virginia. In an increasingly competitive national environment, this has opened up new opportunities for investment in the Commonwealth. As a result, Facebook's investments alone could potentially reach hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming years."
Bills Signed Today
HB 216 (Comstock)/SB 112 (McDougle) Data Center Sales Tax Exemption
Expands the sales and use tax exemption for the purchase or lease of computer equipment or enabling software by data centers by
extending it to tenants of the centers
including jobs created not only by the data center operator but also by the tenants of the data center in collectively meeting the level of new jobs required for eligibility for the exemption
HB 1013 (Comstock)/SB226 (Herring) Extending Virginia Capital Gains Exemption for Investors in Technology Startups
Extends the subtraction from individual and corporate taxable income of capital gains from investments in qualified businesses from June 30, 2013, to June 30, 2015
HB 551 (Comstock)/SB 238 (Herring) Extending Virginia Telework Tax Credit
Extends the telework expenses tax credit for employers through December 31, 2016
The credit currently expires on December 31, 2013
The bill also makes other clarifying changes concerning expenses eligible for the credit