Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 59.1. Trade and Commerce
Chapter 22. Enterprise Zone Act
11/29/2021

§ 59.1-279. Eligibility.

A. Any business firm may be designated a "qualified business firm" for purposes of this chapter if:

1. (i) It establishes within an enterprise zone a trade or business not previously conducted in the Commonwealth by such taxpayer and (ii) 25 percent or more of the employees employed at the business firm's establishment or establishments located within the enterprise zone either have incomes below 80 percent of the median income for the jurisdiction prior to employment or are residents of an enterprise zone.

2. It (i) is actively engaged in the conduct of a trade or business in an area immediately prior to such an area being designated as an enterprise zone and (ii) increases the average number of full-time employees employed at the business firm's establishment or establishments located within the enterprise zone by at least 10 percent over the lower of the preceding two years' employment with no less than 25 percent of such increase being employees who either have incomes below 80 percent of the median income for the jurisdiction prior to employment or are residents of an enterprise zone. Current employees of the business firm that are transferred directly to the enterprise zone facility from another site within the state resulting in a net loss of employment at that site shall not be included in calculating the increase in the average number of full-time employees employed by the business firm within the enterprise zone.

3. It (i) is actively engaged in the conduct of a trade or business in the Commonwealth and relocates to begin operation of a trade or business within an enterprise zone and (ii) increases the average number of full-time employees employed at the business firm's establishment or establishments within the enterprise zone by at least ten percent over the lower of the preceding two years' employment of the business firm prior to relocation with no less than 25 percent of such increase being employees who either have incomes below eighty percent of the median income for the jurisdiction prior to employment or are residents of an enterprise zone. Current employees of the business firm that are transferred directly to the enterprise zone facility from another site within the state resulting in a net loss of employment at that site shall not be included in calculating the increase in the average number of full-time employees employed by the business firm within the enterprise zone.

4. For the purposes of this section, the term "full-time employee" means (i) an individual employed by a business firm and who works the normal number of hours a week as required by the firm or (ii) two or more individuals who together share the same job position and together work the normal number of hours a week as required by the business firm for that one position. For the purposes of this section, the term "jurisdiction" means the county, city or town which made the application under § 59.1-274 to have the enterprise zone. In the case of a joint application, jurisdiction means all parties making such application.

B. After designation as a qualified business firm pursuant to this section, each business firm in an enterprise zone shall submit annually to the Department a statement requesting one or more of the tax incentives provided in § 59.1-280 or 59.1-282. Such a statement shall be accompanied by an approved form supplied by the Department and completed by an independent certified public accountant licensed by the Commonwealth which states that the business firm met the definition of a "qualified business firm" and continues to meet the requirements for eligibility as a qualified business firm in effect at the time of its designation. A copy of the statement submitted by each business firm to the Department shall be forwarded to the zone administrator.

C. The form referred to in subsection B of this section, prepared by an independent certified public accountant licensed by the Commonwealth, shall be prima facie evidence of the eligibility of a business firm for the purposes of this section, but the evidence of eligibility shall be subject to rebuttal. The Department or the Department of Taxation or State Corporation Commission, as applicable, may at its discretion require any business firm to provide supplemental information regarding the firm's eligibility (i) as a qualified business firm or (ii) for a tax credit claimed pursuant to this chapter.

D. The provisions of this section shall apply only as follows:

1. To those qualified business firms that have initiated use of enterprise zone tax credits pursuant to this section on or before July 1, 2005;

2. To those small qualified business firms and large qualified business firms that have signed agreements with the Commonwealth regarding the use of enterprise zone tax credits in accordance with this section on or before July 1, 2005; provided that in the case of small qualified business firms, the signed agreements must be based on proposals developed by the Commonwealth prior to November 1, 2004.

1982, c. 275; 1983, c. 572; 1988, cc. 236, 374; 1995, c. 792; 1997, cc. 497, 517, 808; 2005, cc. 863, 884.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.