HAMPTON ROADS, VA – On May 25, Governor Bob McDonnell signed three bills aimed at reforming the Business, Professional and Occupation License Tax, known as BPOL. The laws will take effect July 1. Locally, only Virginia Beach and Chesapeake supported the bills. On June 7, the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and Retail Alliance sent a joint letter to additional local cities urging them to eliminate the BPOL tax. During the 2011 General Assembly, the Chamber and Retail Alliance lobbied against the tax, advocating for a flat-rate tax or its elimination.
House Bill 1587 allows cities and counties to rebate or exempt the current BPOL tax for new businesses during their first two years of operation. House Bill 1437 and Senate Bill 1408 give municipalities the options of charging BPOL taxes based on income – rather than gross receipts – or to rebate the tax if the business losses money during a given taxable year. Virginia Beach Councilwoman Rosemary Wilson proposed the bill which was sponsored by Del. Sal Iaquinto, R-Virginia Beach.
Since the BPOL Tax was first enacted to fund the War of 1812, Virginia businesses have been burdened by this unfair and unequally applied tax; unfair, because it targets gross receipts regardless of profitability, and unequal because the BPOL Tax is only assessed on certain professions, while others are exempted.
The joint letter states, “We believe these are solid reforms that should be approved and written into local ordinances throughout Hampton Roads. Virginia Beach and Chesapeake are already taking action to implement HB 1587 as a significant economic development tool. We urge that these BPOL reform steps be taken now so that an effective date of January 1, 2012, can be achieved. We stand ready to assist local Commissioners of the Revenue, Treasurers and Finance Directors in the implementation and promotion of these measures.”
About the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce (www.HamptonRoadsChamber.com)
The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit member-based business organization. The Chamber is a vigorous advocate for the economic success of its nearly 2,000 member businesses, which employ more than 280,000 men and women in southeastern Virginia. The Chamber promotes Hampton Roads’ healthy business climate through economic development, public policy initiatives, services and benefits to members. The Chamber is dedicated to creating economic opportunity and enhancing the quality of life in Hampton Roads.
About Retail Alliance
Since 1903, Retail Alliance has been committed to promoting the healthy growth of businesses and trade as a full-service business resource, extending throughout Southeastern Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina. Retail Alliance partners have access to the tools they need to make their business more effective and more profitable, including business support services such as business and credit information, pre-employment screening and employee benefit programs.
In addition, partners have access to powerful benefits that keep them on the leading edge of current practices, technologies and sales trends, including: business and credit regulatory briefings, legislative lobbying and industry advocacy, customer service and employee training, professional development workshops, forums and seminars, and a resource library.
For more information about the Retail Alliance and its services, visit www.retail-alliance.com or call David Brandt at 757-455-9318.
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