The 2016 Virginia General Assembly reconvened this Wednesday, April 20, 2016, to review Governor McAuliffe’s proposed amendments and vetoes to legislation from this year’s session.
House Bill 18
The veto was sustained for Governor McAuliffe’s veto House Bill 18 (HB 18), which allowed local franchisees to maintain management of their employees, rather than turn that control over to the corporate franchisor.
VRF supported HB 18, proposing that the bill supports the best interest of retailers by continuing to allow individual operations to make decisions regarding their employees’ needs and their right as the owner of the franchise to hire or fire their own employees. Governor McAuliffe provided the explanation that the bill would undermine business by exempting franchisors from their obligations to Virginia business.
During the Veto Session, VRF was successful in removing the Governor’s proposed budget increase, that would have allowed increased audits and investigations on misclassified workers, youth employment inspections, and wage payment claims. It also would have allowed increases in order to issue citations for potential Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) Program violations.
VRF opposed these budget increases because of that added regulations, inspections, requirements, and burden for small businesses.
VRF SILENT AUCTIONS
Please consider a donation for our silent auctions, as they provide the VRF Political Action Committee the opportunity to share the retail message with our decision-makers.
Retail Merchants Association | Richmond, VA | May 11
Retail Alliance | Norfolk, VA | December 8
ANNUAL RETAIL ADVOCATES SUMMIT (Washington, D.C., May 24-25)
The Retail Advocates Summit rallies retailers of all sizes, national and local brands, to Washington to advocate for issues that are critical to a thriving retail industry.
Please consider joining the VRF team, Retail Merchants Association members, and Retail Alliance members we take the retail message to our representatives in the US Congress and the US Senate.
Details are available on the NRF website: https://nrf.com/events/retail-advocates-summit-2016
The 2016 Virginia General Assembly adjourned this past Friday evening March 11th, one day ahead of schedule, for the second year in a row. Virginia Retail Federation’s team was present the entire Session to ensure retail’s business positions were represented. The 60-day session included over 3,200 pieces of legislation, with over 100 pieces potentially impacting retailers. The session also included Virginia’s 2-year budget.
The budget proposal included many issues of significance:
· education initiatives
· strategic investments in economic development
· healthcare proposals
The most significant for Virginia retailers is the Accelerated Sales Tax (AST) threshold.
VRF worked diligently with Governor McAuliffe’s administration in 2015 to increase the threshold for AST from the current $2.5 million, to $10 million in 2017, and $25 million in 2018. At the end of the day, both chambers supported the AST language and left it in the budget.
Finally, the budget proposed a provision for businesses in 2014 with income of $50 million, or more, in and out of Virginia, to be required to submit tax information using the market-based sourcing model. This model collects the tax in the state where the customer receives the service benefit, rather than in the state that a service is performed. Failure to file this information by June 1, 2016, included a $5,000 penalty. VRF worked with budget conferees to remove this item from the budget, protecting retailers.
The outcome of over 100 bills was favorable for retailers, including:
· Felony Larceny Threshold
· Minimum Wage Increase
· Plastic Bag Ban / Tax
· Paid Sick Leave
· School Calendar
· Gift Certificates
· View all the bills here.
Throughout the session, VRF was successful in sharing the retail message with legislators and the importance of the retail impact on the economy, community, and employment.