NVTC Applauds Passage of Legislation Extending Virginia’s Sales Tax Exemption for Qualified Data Centers

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Legislation enhances Virginia’s competitiveness by providing predictability and certainty to companies considering data center investment or expansion

The Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) applauds Virginia policymakers for extending Virginia’s sales and use tax exemption for qualified data centers through June 2035. The legislation, which was sponsored by Senator Frank Ruff (SB64) and Delegate Tim Hugo (HB872), was signed by Governor Terry McAuliffe on Friday following approval by the General Assembly during Virginia’s 2016 Legislative Session. SB64 and HB872 extend Virginia's sales and use tax exemption until 2035 to provide predictability and certainty to data centers and tenants considering investment or expansion in Virginia.

NVTC led a coalition of business associations, chambers of commerce, and individual companies‎ in the effort to enhance Virginia's statewide competitiveness in attracting data center investment and jobs by extending the sunset on Virginia’s data center sales tax exemption. This exemption, which helped to make Virginia the largest data center market in the U.S., was scheduled to end in 2020.

“Data centers are a critical part of the infrastructure that supports the modern economy and Virginia is a global leader in attracting data center jobs and investment,” said NVTC President and CEO Bobbie Kilberg. “We are very appreciative of the strong efforts and leadership of our legislative champions, Senator Frank Ruff and Delegate Tim Hugo, both of whom were staunch advocates in sponsoring this important legislation to enhance Virginia’s economic competitiveness. We are grateful for the strong bipartisan commitment of legislators who overwhelmingly approved the legislation and we appreciate the support of Governor McAuliffe in quickly signing the legislation into law.”

As part of its advocacy for extending Virginia’s sales and use tax exemption for qualified data centers, in January NVTC released a research report, The Economic and Fiscal Contribution that Data Centers Make to Virginia, outlining the positive economic impact of data centers on Virginia’s economy. According to the report, which was produced by Richmond-based Mangum Economics, the total statewide economic impact in 2014 attributable to the data center industry was approximately 36,043 jobs, $2.7 billion in wages, $8.6 billion in economic output, and $298.9 million in state and local tax revenue. The report concluded that the data center industry is broadly represented in many regions of the Commonwealth and has wide-ranging economic development potential. Northern Virginia is home to the largest concentration of private sector data center employment and locations in Virginia, and one of the largest in the U.S.

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