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Commonwealth's Counties

Legislation providing repayment flexibility for economic development access projects advances

On January 21, the House Transportation Committee’s Transportation Systems Subcommittee heard testimony on HB 2253 (Wampler). This bill imposes a 48-month moratorium on the repayment of funds allocated to a locality for a bonded project pursuant to the Economic Development Access (EDA) program, provided that the conditions of the Commonwealth Transportation Board’s economic development access policy are met. The EDA program is a state-funded incentive to assist localities in providing adequate road access to new and expanding manufacturing and processing companies, research and development facilities, distribution centers, regional service centers, corporate headquarters, government installations, and other basic employers with at least 51% of the company’s revenue generated from outside the Commonwealth. EDA is administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

According to the bill’s patron, the goal of the legislation is to grant more time to local governments and regional industrial facility authorities (RIFAs) to repay initial costs, which may have encountered delays due to the pandemic. This bill is similar to legislation from 2017 that was enacted unanimously by the General Assembly. The bill has an emergency clause, which allows the bill to become effective immediately if signed by the Governor, but requires the support of 80 percent of the members of both the House and Senate. The subcommittee voted unanimously 9-0 to recommend reporting and referring the bill to the House Appropriations Committee.

VACo supports HB 2253.

VACo Contact: Jeremy R. Bennett

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