It is the 35th day of the 2016 Virginia General Assembly Session. To date, 1763 pieces of legislation are pending review by the House of Delegates and the Senate. Today is “Crossover” which means each house must complete work on its own legislation in order to send it to the opposite body. The Budget Bill(s) and revenue bills will continue to be considered and are not committed to today’s deadline. VRF continues to track more than 100 bills which potentially impact your business.

 

Recent actions include:

Right to Work

HB 4 (Del. Dickie Bell) and SJ 127 (Sen. Richard Obenshain) provide a voter referendum for the November 8, 2016 election to approve or reject an amendment to ensure Virginia remains a “right to work” state. HB 4 passed the House and the Senate and SJ 127 has passed the Senate so far.

 

Parental Leave

HB 33 (Del. Peter Farrell) creates an income tax credit for small businesses that provide full-time employees salary while on leave for birth or adoption. HB 33 was defeated in subcommittee.

 

Plastic Bag Tax

SB 720 (Sen. Lynwood Lewis) provides localities the opportunity to impose a tax on plastic bags. SB 720 was defeated in committee

 

Tax Reforms

HB 165 (Del. Peter Farrell) allows localities an exemption for meals and food and beverage taxes for fundraising purposes. HB 165 was continued to the 2017 General Assembly Session.

HB 966 (Del. Glen Davis) restructures corporate income tax apportionment. HB 966 was continued to the 2017 General Assembly Session.

HB 969 (Del. Glen Davis) restructures sales and use taxes, commonly referred to as “streamlining.” HB 969 was continued to the 2017 General Assembly Session.

 

ABC Licensing

HB 904 (Del. Steve Landes) proposes for retail cigar shops to serve alcoholic beverages. HB 904 is pending review in the House of Delegates.

 

Airbnb

HB 1268 (Del. Scott Taylor), SB 416 (Sen. Jill Vogel) and SB 751 (Sen. Bill DeSteph) impose requirements as well as opportunities for localities to account for Air B & B’s regarding tax and information collection. HB 1268 was defeated in subcommittee. SB 416 and SB 751 are under consideration in the Senate Finance Committee

 

SWAM - Small, Women-owned, Minority-owned Businesses

HB 971 (Del. Alfonso Lopez) redefines “small businesses” in order for small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses to be eligible for procurement business. HB 971 was defeated in the House of Delegates.

 

Accelerated Sales Tax

VRF remains committed to supporting Governor McAuliffe’s budget proposal to provide relief for the Accelerated Sales Tax (AST). The Governor’s proposal includes an increase to the threshold to pay the AST from $2.5 M to $10 M, and the second year of his biennial budget will again raise the AST to $25 M.

 

 

It is the 28th day of the 2016 Virginia General Assembly Session. To date, 2015 pieces of legislation are pending review by the House of Delegates and the Senate. VRF continues to track more than 100 bills which potentially impact your business.

 

Recent actions include:

Minimum Wage Increase
Three bills to increase the mandated minimum wage were defeated in committee: SB 88 (Senator Marsden), SB 129 (Senator Edwards), SB 668 (Senator Favola). VRF opposed these bills.

Paid Sick Leave
Senator Wexton's bill to require paid sick leave for employees SB 274 was defeated in committee. VRF opposed this bill

Plastic Bag Bans & Taxes
Senator Lewis'€™ SB 720 to provide a local option for plastic bag bans or taxes remains in the committee. VRF opposes this bill.

Public School Before Labor Day
Senator Garrett'€™s SB 340 to change the current law which allows local school boards to apply to the State Board of Education for waivers to begin school before the Labor Day Weekend holiday was defeated in committee.

ABC Mixed Beverage Licensing Bills
Delegate Albo's HB 171 and Delegate Taylor's HB 219 regarding the food to beverage ratio for mixed beverages were reported from subcommittee. VRF monitored these bills.
Delegate Albo's HB 226 to allow ABC mixed beverage licenses for performing arts facilities is pending review in the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee. VRF is monitoring this bill.

State & Local Tax Reform
Delegate LeMunyon's bill to provide tax reform HB 214 was defeated in subcommittee. VRF monitored this bill.

Increase to Larceny Threshold
SB 23 (Reeves) proposes an increase to the grand larceny threshold to $500. SB 23 passed the Senate by a vote 26 Y, 14 N. This bill will be referred to the House Courts of Justice Subcommittee chaired by Delegate Rob Bell of Albemarle County, and we anticipate the subcommittee will defeat the bill as it did with the two House bills to increase the larceny threshold. VRF will continue to oppose efforts to increase the threshold.

 

VRF remains committed to supporting Governor McAuliffe's budget proposal to provide relief for the Accelerated Sales Tax (AST).
The Governor's proposal includes an increase to the threshold to pay the AST from $2.5 M to $10 M, and the second year of his biennial budget will again raise the AST to $25 M.

It is day 21 of the 2016 Virginia General Assembly Session.  Over 2,200 pieces of legislation are pending review by the House of Delegates and the Senate.  VRF continues to track more than 100 bills which potentially impact your business.

Recent actions include:

Felony Threshold for Larceny

HB 396 (Heretick) and HB 1176 (Lindsey) to increase the threshold for a grand larceny threshold were defeated last week in the House Courts of Justice subcommittee.  VRF opposes any increase to the grand larceny threshold current amount of $200.

SB 23 (Reeves) proposes an increase to the grand larceny threshold to $500.  SB 23 passed the Senate by a vote 26 Y, 14 N.  This bill will be referred to the House Courts of Justice Subcommittee chaired by Delegate Rob Bell of Albemarle County, and we anticipate the subcommittee will defeat the bill as it did with the two House bills to increase the larceny threshold.  VRF will continue to oppose efforts to increase the threshold.

Minimum Wage

HB 597 (Plum)  HB 623 (Krizek) and HB 988 (Lopez) each proposed  minimum wage increase.  These bills were defeated in House Subcommittee.  VRF opposed.  

HB 995 (Levine)  Proposed that a local alternative wage may be imposed.  Defeated in House Subcommittee.  VRF opposed.

Paid Sick Leave

HB 7 (Simon)  Sick leave; required certain private employers to provide employees with paid benefits. Defeated in House Subcommittee.  VRF opposed.

Unemployment Compensation

HB 411 (James) Provides unemployment compensation for part-time employment. Defeated.  VRF Opposed.

HB 1172 (Morris)  Requires notice of penalties for false or misleading statements regarding unemployment compensation.  Defeated.  VRF monitored this bill to ensure no harm for retailers.

Plastic Bags

HB 288 (Helsel) and SB 532 (Surovell) proposed local options to prohibit plastic bags.  Both bills were defeated.  VRF opposed.

Gift Certificates

HB 11 (Cole) prohibited practices by merchants issuing gift certificates to use an expiration date.  Defeated.  VRF opposed.

Ban the Box - Criminal History 

HB 838 (McClellan)  Regarding applicant’s criminal history for applications for certain professions, occupations, and trades.  Bill is continued until 2017 Session, which defeats it for this year. VRF opposed.

Restaurants - Required Deep Frying Stations 

HB 1242 (Ingram) Required restaurants to have separate stations for deep-frying.  Defeated.  VRF opposed.

Cigarette Taxes 

HB 85 (Campbell)  and HB 1192 (Murphy) Authorizes counties to impose cigarette taxes.  Defeated.  VRF opposed.

Access to Restrooms

HB 1123 (Hope) Required retailers with toilet facilities to allow customer access.  Defeated.  VRF opposed. 

SB 401 (Marsden) Allows consumers to obtain ID card from VA Department of Health to identify them with the condition of Chrohn'€™s and colitis, in the effort to access immediate access to facilities.  This is not a mandate, it is a voluntary bill.  VRF will monitor this bill to ensure it does not include mandates for retailers. It passed the Senate 33 Yes 5 No.

Public School Before Labor Day 

HB 571 (Robinson) and HB 753 (Greason) have passed committee to allow public school districts to begin school before Labor Day.  VRF will continue to oppose efforts to change the current law which allows local school districts to apply to the State Board of Education for a waiver if they wish to begin school before Labor Day.

Airbnb Bills:

Several bills remain alive regarding regulation and tax collection from Airbnb'€™s.  VRF will continue to monitor the issue to ensure regulations are consistent with hospitality requirements of our lodging members.

Additionally, VRF remains committed to supporting Governor McAuliffe's budget proposal to provide relief for the Accelerated Sales Tax (AST).  The Governor's proposal includes an increase to the threshold from $2.5 M to $10 M, and the second year of his biennial budget will again raise the AST threshold to $25 M.



Your input is crucial for helping the retail industry. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the 2016 General Assembly, please contact one of VRF's lobbyists. 


Update from the Virginia General Assembly 


Today, January 26, 2016, marks the fourteenth day of the 2016 Virginia General Assembly Session.  To date, 2,353 pieces of legislation have been introduced, and VRF is tracking over 100 bills that could potentially impact your business.

Recent actions include:

Felony Larceny Threshold:
Bills have been introduced to increase the larceny threshold from the current $200 to $500, $1,000, even $1,500.  In the Senate, SB 177, SB 226, and SB 235 and were rolled into Sen. Bryce Reeves'€™ bill, SB 23, with the threshold increase to $500 and passed out of Senate Courts of Justice Committee. SB 310, which proposed to raise the threshold to $1,500, was defeated in committee.  VRF will continue to oppose this increase when the bill goes to the Senate floor. In the House of Delegates, HB 396 and HB 1167 were introduced to increase the larceny threshold.  Both bills were successfully defeated in the House Courts of Justice Subcommittee.


School Before Labor Day
Efforts for public school districts to begin school before Labor Day.  HB 93, HB 571, HB 753, HB 788 - all were consolidated into one bill to go forward through the House of Delegates Education Committee as HB 753 by Del. Tag Greason.  VRF will continue to oppose efforts to change the current law on public which allows local school districts to apply to the State Board of Education for a waiver if they wish to begin school before Labor Day.


€œAirBnB€ Bill:
SB 416 establishes the Limited Residential Lodging Act which allows homeowners to rent their homes, or part of their homes, for less than 30 consecutive days.  The "€œhosting platform"€ will be responsible for collecting and remitting taxes on behalf of the property owner. This is referred to as the "AirBnB"€ bill. VRF will continue to monitor the bill to ensure regulations are consistent with hospitality requirements of our lodging members. SB 416 has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee. In the House, the bill (HB 812) has been introduced and is referred to the House General Laws Committee.


Accelerated Sales Tax: 
VRF remains committed to supporting Governor McAuliffe'€™s budget proposal to provide relief for the Accelerated Sales Tax (AST).  The Governor'€™s proposal includes an increase to the threshold to pay the AST from $2.5 million to $10 million in annual sales, and the second year of his biennial budget will again raise the AST to $25 million.


Plastic Bag Tax: 
SB 55, SB 114 and SB 532 which sought to prohibit the use of plastic bags and/or to impose a tax on plastic bags were defeated in committee.



Click here for a full list of bills being tracked by the Virginia Retail Federation.


All Senate Felony Threshold bills are up in the Senate Courts of Justice tomorrow afternoon.

Contact Senate Courts Committee members to let them know you OPPOSE the Felony Threshold increases, before 1PM tomorrow, January 20, 2016.

Together we can STOP the Felony Threshold increases.




SENATE COURTS COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Obenshain (Chairman), Saslaw, Norment, Howell, Lucas, Edwards, McDougle, McEachin, Stuart, Stanley, Reeves, Garrett, Chafin, Deeds, Sturtevant, orfind your representative.




BILL NUMBERS

SB23 Senator Reeves, increases the threshold from $200 to $500

SB117 Senator Surovell, increases the threshold from $200 to $1,000

SB226 Senator Lucas, increases the threshold from $200 to $500

SB235 Senator Petersen, increases the threshold from $200 to $500

SB 310 Senator McEachin, increases the threshold from $200 to $1,500




TALKING POINTS


  • Shoplifting results in higher prices for consumers, and significant lost tax revenue for state and local government.  Raising the larceny threshold provides a direct incentive for criminals to steal more merchandise in Virginia. 

  • Retailers across Virginia find that individual shoplifters are often very familiar with the current $200 felony larceny threshold.  In fact, many shoplifters steal just under the felony limit to avoid any significant punishment. 

  • Retail theft impacts all consumers; when a retail theft occurs the thief is stealing from everyone. The losses from these thefts are not absorbed by the retailer, but are passed on to the consumer through higher prices. 

  • Two to four cents of each dollar spent by a consumer at a retail establishment goes to cover just the losses incurred from theft. 

  • There has been no showing by the proponents of this change that the current threshold is resulting in unwarranted felony convictions or jail time.