Legislative Update Q.1 2017

Retail Alliance Holiday Open House/VRF Silent Auction

Another great Open House event this year with our awesome members and other guests joining us for yummy food and beverages in our Norfolk office.

Our silent auction benefiting our advocacy efforts was also a success, raising over $4,000 for the Virginia Retail Federation Political Action Committee (PAC). None of this would have happened without contributions by our members. Thanks to the following members for donating items towards the silent auction:

  • A.Dodson’s
  • Adele Diamond
  • Albano Cleaners
  • BizConnect Hampton Roads
  • Buggy Bathe
  • Care-A-Lot Pet Supply
  • Center for Retail Excellence
  • Clothes Mentor
  • Colonial Folk Art
  • Conte’s Bike Shop
  • Country Flowers and Gifts
  • Dan Ryan’s for Men
  • David Arrington
  • Decorum
  • Domestic Divas
  • Dominion Service Compnay
  • Escape Room Virginia Beach
  • Farm Fresh
  • Freda Rosso
  • Garden Gazebo
  • Hi-Ho Silver
  • Hilton Downtown Richmond
  • House of Maya
  • Illuminate Beauty Boutique
  • Interstate Cash Register
  • Lacey Lee Fitness
  • MacArthur Center
  • Mary Barnett’s Gifts
  • Medical Aesthetics of Virginia
  • Philip Michael Fashion for Men
  • Pinot’s Pallette
  • Prince Books
  • Raymond Mattes
  • SaladWorks
  • Shop Talk
  • Target
  • Tastebuds Popcorn
  • Taylor’s Do It Center
  • The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium
  • The Christmas Store
  • The Creative Wedge
  • The Full Cup
  • The Home Depot
  • The Quality Shops
  • The Royal Chocolate
  • Unusual Designs
  • Virginia Peninsula Photography
  • Way Back Yonder Antiques
  • Willis Furniture

Update From Governor’s Budget Presentation – December 16, 2016

Below are the Governor’s proposals that will impact VRF members found in the Governor’s Budget Document:

Use Tax Compliance – Expect to increase revenue by $2 million by providing guidance on reporting purchases of tangible personal property online or via catalogs through enhanced instructions to tax payers, form changes, vendor guides for electronic filers, presentations to tax professionals and CPAs, and online communication.

Restaurant Inspection Fee – Propose to increase the Restaurant Inspection Fee from $40 to $285.

Implement Tiered Fee Structure for Food Establishment Inspection Program – proposes to replace current $40 annual inspection fee with a three-tiered fee structure based on the establishment’s square footage; the fee structure will range from $40 to $575. During the Governor’s remarks to the Joint Money Committees, he also mentioned two important issues to the retail industry.

Accelerated Sales Tax – The Governor proposed that Virginia suspend the unwinding of AST for June 2017. Instead, he proposes that we keep the threshold at $2.5 million in June 2017 and then increase the threshold to $4 million in June of 2018. The Governor stated that this proposal will produce an additional $47.9 million in General Fund revenues.

Sales Tax Nexus – According to the Governor’s statement, the Commonwealth is missing out on $250 to $300 million a year while E-fairness legislation remains stalled in Congress. Because of this, the Governor is proposing legislation which will require out-of-state merchants that use a fulfillment center or warehouse, located within the commonwealth, to register as dealer for the collection of sales tax on their sales in Virginia.

2017 Virginia General Assembly

The 2017 General Assembly Session begins on January 11, 2017. This is a short session, lasting only 45 days. You will receive weekly updates, via email, that explain all the issues we will be covering on behalf of the retail industry. These emails will keep you informed as to any issues that may have an impact, positive or negative, on your business.

We will also send our “Legislative Alerts” that request your help; either by making a phone call, sending an email, or coming to the Capitol to testify on an issue that impacts you. These Legislative Alerts are extremely important, so we ask that you act on them in a timely manner. The more individuals that contact their elected officials on certain issues, the bigger the impact we have.

We expect that many of the same issues that we have seen in years’ past will be around during the 2017 Session. These include: minimum wage, mandated paid sick leave, felony threshold for larceny, property rights issues, ABC issues, industry specific taxes and much more.

Please contact Kate Baker or Jodi Roth with any questions (kbaker@virginiaretailfederation.com or jroth@virginiaretailfederation.com)