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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 24. Transportation and Motor Vehicles
Agency 30. Department of Transportation
Chapter 41. Rules and Regulations Governing Relocation Assistance
4/1/2020

24VAC30-41-320. Fixed Payment in Lieu of Actual Costs.

A. A displaced business, farm or nonprofit organization, meeting eligibility criteria may receive a fixed payment in lieu of a payment for actual moving and related expenses. The amount of this payment is equal to its average annual net earnings as computed in accordance with subsection E of this section, but not less than $1,000 nor more than $75,000.

B. Criteria for eligibility. For an owner of a displaced business to be entitled to a payment in lieu of actual moving expenses, the district office must determine that:

1. The business owns or rents personal property that must be moved in connection with such displacement and for which an expense would be incurred in such move, and it vacates or relocates from its displacement site.

2. The displaced business cannot be relocated without a substantial loss of its existing patronage (clientele or net earnings). A business is assumed to meet this test unless VDOT determines, for a stated reason, that it will not suffer a substantial loss of its existing patronage.

3. The business is not part of a commercial enterprise having more than three other entities that are not being acquired by VDOT and that are under the same ownership and engaged in the same or similar business activities. (For purposes of this rule, any remaining business facility that did not contribute materially to the income of the displaced person during the two taxable years prior to displacement shall not be considered "other entity.")

4. The business is not operated at displacement dwelling or site solely for the purpose of renting such dwelling or site to others.

5. The business contributed materially to the income of the displaced person during the two taxable years prior to displacement. However, VDOT may waive this test for good cause. A part-time individual or family occupation in the home that does not contribute materially to the displaced owner is not eligible.

C. In determining whether two or more displaced legal entities constitute a single business, which is entitled to only one fixed payment, all pertinent factors shall be considered, including the extent to which:

1. The same premises and equipment are shared;

2. Substantially identical or interrelated business functions are carried out and business and financial affairs are co-mingled;

3. The entities are held out to the public and to those customarily dealing with them, as one business; and

4. The same person, or closely related persons own, control, or manage the affairs of the entities.

The district office will make a decision after consideration of all the above items and so advise the displacee.

D. A displaced farm operation may choose a fixed payment in lieu of the payments for actual moving and related expenses in an amount equal to its average annual net earnings as computed in accordance with subsection E of this section, but not less than $1,000 nor more than $75,000. In the case of a partial acquisition of land, which was a farm operation before the acquisition, the fixed payment shall be made only if VDOT determines that:

1. The acquisition of part of the land caused the operator to be displaced from the farm operation on the remaining land; or

2. The partial acquisition caused a substantial change in the nature of the farm operation.

A displaced nonprofit organization may choose a fixed payment of $1,000 to $75,000 in lieu of the payments for actual moving and related expenses if VDOT determines that it cannot be relocated without a substantial loss of existing patronage (membership or clientele). A nonprofit organization is assumed to meet this test unless VDOT demonstrates otherwise. Any payment in excess of $1,000 must be supported with financial statements for the two 12-month periods prior to the acquisition. The amount to be used for the payment is the average of two years annual gross revenues less administrative expenses.

Gross revenues for a nonprofit organization include membership fees, class fees, cash donations, tithes, receipts from sales or other forms of fund collection that enables the nonprofit organization to operate. Administrative expenses are for administrative support, such as rent, utilities, salaries, advertising and other like items, as well as fund raising expenses. Operating expenses are not included in administrative expenses.

E. Payment determination. The term "average annual net earnings" means one-half of all net earnings of the business or farm before federal, state and local income taxes, during the two tax years immediately preceding the tax year in which the business or farm is relocated. If the two years immediately preceding displacement are not representative, VDOT may use a period that would be more representative. For instance, proposed construction may have caused recent outflow of business customers, resulting in a decline in net income for the business.

The term "average annual net earnings" include any compensation paid by the business to the owner, spouse, or dependents during the two-year period. In the case of a corporate owner of a business, earnings shall include any compensation paid to the spouse or dependents of the owner of a majority interest in the corporation. For the purpose of determining majority ownership, stock held by a husband, his wife and their children shall be treated as one unit.

If the business, farm or nonprofit organization was not in operation for the full two taxable years prior to displacement, net earnings shall be based on the actual period of operation at the displacement site during the two taxable years prior to displacement, projected to an annual rate.

F. Information to be provided by owner. For the owner of a business, farm or nonprofit organization to be entitled to this payment, the owner must provide information to support the net earnings of the business, farm or nonprofit organization. State or federal tax returns for the tax years in question are the best source of this information. However, certified financial statements can be accepted as evidence of earnings. The tax returns furnished must either be signed and dated or accompanied by a certification from the business owner that the returns being furnished reflect the actual income of the business as reported to the Internal Revenue Service or the State Department of Taxation for the periods in question. The owner's statement alone would not be sufficient if the amount claimed exceeded the minimum payment of $1,000.

A more complete discussion of this benefit is contained in the "Guidance Document for Determination of Certain Financial Benefits for Displacees," effective October 1, 2014.

Statutory Authority

§ 25.1-402 of the Code of Virginia; 42 USC § 4601 et seq.; 49 CFR Part 24.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 18, Issue 03, eff. November 21, 2001; amended, Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 13, eff. April 6, 2005; Volume 22, Issue 21, eff. July 26, 2006; Volume 30, Issue 26, eff. October 1, 2014.

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