At a bill signing ceremony co-hosted by the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) on May 30, Gov. Bob McDonnell ceremonially signed data center sales tax exemption legislation championed by NVTC during the 2012 legislative session of the Virginia General Assembly. NVTC President and CEO Bobbie Kilberg provided introductory remarks during the ceremony, which was held at the new headquarters of NVTC Board member company Acentia in Falls Church. Secretary of Technology Jim Duffey, Secretary of Commerce & Trade Jim Cheng, Gov. McDonnell's Chief of Staff Martin Kent, a bipartisan group of legislators from Northern Virginia and throughout the Commonwealth, and representatives from the NVTC and NVTC TechPAC Boards and the NVTC Data Center Task Force were present.
The data center bills (HB 216 / SB 112), which were sponsored by Chief Patrons Delegate Barbara Comstock and Sens. Mark Herring and Ryan McDougle, enhance Virginia's statewide competitiveness in attracting data center jobs and investment. Following a year-long advocacy effort by NVTC, the legislation expands Virginia's current data center sales tax exemption to also include data center tenants.
The governor also signed NVTC-supported legislation extending Virginia's capital gains exemption for investors in technology startups (HB 1013 – Delegate Comstock and SB 226 – Sen. Herring) through June 30, 2015. The exemption was initially passed in 2010 to boost Virginia's competitiveness in attracting investors by providing a three-year 100 percent state capital gains tax exclusion for investment in technology startups.
Finally, the governor signed NVTC-supported legislation extending Virginia's telework tax credit (HB 551 – Delegate Comstock and SB 238 – Sen. Herring) through December 31, 2016. The General Assembly first enacted this tax credit in 2011 with strong NVTC support to assist companies in defraying costs associated with establishing or expanding a telework program.
"A vibrant and growing technology industry creates good-paying jobs for Virginians. These bills, with strong support from the NVTC and signed today by Gov. McDonnell, make the state more competitive for these jobs," said Kilberg. "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."
Immediately following the bill signing ceremony, Gov. McDonnell participated in a ribbon cutting with Acentia CEO Todd Stottlemyer to celebrate the opening of the company's new headquarters in Northern Virginia.