Economic Development incentives are a component of economic development policy to encourage growth in traditionally impoverished or underdeveloped areas in the United States.

Virginia offers a variety of performance-based incentives. From tax credits to tax exemptions, Virginia continues to demonstrate its willingness to invest in those who invest and reinvest in the commonwealth.

While economic development incentives have proven useful in many communities, there exists various unintended consequences of these programs; the most obstructive being their complexity.  For example, the financing structure of a real estate project utilizing tax credits can get very complex, and it is generally recommended that a knowledgeable consultant be retained to structure the deal.

Another challenge is identifying the various incentives available, their deadlines and how to apply.  There are many resources available that provide this information, but there is generally no central database as these programs are administered by various levels of government.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, through its Ally Information Exchange, provides a list of existing economic development incentives. The Virginia Department of Taxation’s website provides a list of tax credits available to businesses and individuals in Virginia.

Both the federal and state tax historic preservation tax credit programs are administered in Virginia through the Department of Historic Resources. Information and assistance with tax-credit projects may be requested from DHR’s Richmond office. Contact Elizabeth Tune at (804) 367-2323, ext. 110 or Julie Langan at (804) 367-2323, ext. 155. Also, for more information about the federal tax-credit, visit their Technical Preservation Services website.

The Virginia Tourism Corporation provides several grants and funding sources.

North Carolina State University has created a national database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.

Please contact us if you have any questions about a particular incentive or to share your experiences with working through any of these programs.