McDonnell signs tourism, economic development package

Gov. Bob McDonnell today signed the second part of his “Opportunity at Work” legislative package at an afternoon event at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.

The three measures signed today will help to increase tourism and attract new business to the state. The governor was joined at today’s signing ceremony by Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng, members of the General Assembly, Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms, and stakeholders in the retail, tourism and commercial spaceflight industries.

“Economic development and job creation remains my top priority,” McDonnell said. “Over the last year and a half Virginia’s unemployment rate has dropped over 1 percent, and we have added 64,900 net new jobs. But there is more work to be done to help every Virginian get a good-paying, quality job. The three bills I signed today will go far to encourage job creators to choose Virginia and invest in this state.”

“Opportunity at Work” legislation signed today

SB1193 (Norment)/ HB2285 (James) – Creates the Tourism Development Grant Program

  • Creates the Tourism Development Grant Program to allow certain locally endorsed tourism projects to temporarily retain a portion of state and local tax revenue generated from the project combined with a matching contribution from the developer to provide gap financing for the project

SB1447 (Wampler) – Revenues to the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority

  • Directs revenue generated by commercial spaceflight to the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority to develop Wallops Island as an even more attractive spaceport

HB1587 (Iaquinto) – Creates a Business License Incentive Program

  • Permits any county, city or town to provide relief from license taxes to any business locating in such county, city or town for the first time, for the first two years after such location.

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