Proposed legislation freezes local business tax rates

January 28, 2016

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HB 217 (LeMunyon) prohibits localities from increasing their business machinery and tools tax, merchants’ capital tax, and local license (BPOL) fees and taxes above the rates in effect as of January 1, 2016. Any locality wanting to impose BPOL tax on Virginia taxable income may not later choose to impose the tax on gross receipts.

The House Finance Committee’s Subcommittee #3 will consider HB 217 tomorrow morning. Please contact legislators on Subcommittee #3 to oppose freezing local business tax rates.

Localities generated $674.3 million from BPOL tax and fee and $192.5 million from the Machinery and Tools Tax in FY 2014.

Talking Points

The bill restricts local flexibility in raising funds necessary to carry out state mandates.

Reducing local taxing authority in these areas puts even more pressure on real estate taxes.

General Assembly has expressed reservations about the Governor’s revenue projections for this year and the next biennium. If these doubts prove true, it makes little sense to reduce local taxing authority.

Key Contacts

House Finance Committee Subcommittee #3: Byron (Chairman), Ware, Orrock, Hugo, Keam

VACo Contact: Dean Lynch, CAE

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