From Your Prince William Chamber 
December 2015

Chamber Advocate,

See what the Chamber has been up to over the past few weeks and what has been happening in the community. From policy to politics there is plenty to choose from when trying to figure out how to be more involved with our advocacy efforts. 

Please remember to join the Chamber for its Legislative Kick-Off with our General Assembly delegation on Wednesday, December 16, from 8:00am-10:00am at Old Hickory Golf Club.

There will not be a policy meeting in December due to the Legislative Kick-Off.
If you have any questions about legislation or are just generally interested in what we are working on at the Chamber, please get in touch with me by sending an email to  I am happy to discuss!   

Prince William Chamber to Host Legislative Kick-off            

State Legislators Talk Policy Priorities, Business Concerns
The Prince William Chamber of Commerce hosts the Prince William delegation to the Virginia General Assembly during its annual "Legislative Kick-off" on Wednesday, December 16, 8:00 am to 10:00 am at Old Hickory Golf Club, 11921 Chanceford Drive near County Center. The entire business community is invited to meet with elected officials before they head to Richmond for the 2016 legislative session. This event is open to all businesses in the region to attend.

"There is incredible economic opportunity in the Prince William region. It is vitally important that the small business community remains engaged in the policy making process and aware of changes in Richmond that could potentially impact their industry. Our region has one of the most influential delegations to the General Assembly and we are excited to share our 2016 legislative priorities with them." said Brendon Shaw, Prince William Chamber of Commerce Director of Government Relations.

To date, Senator George Barker, Senator-Elect Scott Surovell, Senator-Elect Jeremy McPike, Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, Delegate Richard Anderson, and Delegate Luke Torian have confirmed plans to attend. All members of the Prince William delegation to Virginia's General Assembly have been invited.

Additionally, the Chamber will present the delegation with its 2016 Public Policy Agenda. A copy will be made available at following the event.

Cost is $30 for Chamber members, $45 for non-members and includes breakfast. Pre-register online at The Presenting Sponsor is NOVEC, the Framework Sponsor is Compton and Duling, LC, Attorneys at Law and Transurban is the Chamber's Advocacy Vision Partner, supporting the Chamber's comprehensive efforts to foster economic opportunity and a high quality of life in our region. To learn more about these efforts, or the Legislative Kick-off event, visit or call 703.368.6600.

Transurban Announces Express Lane Extensions

Governor McAuliffe and Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne recen tly announced two projects in partnership with Transurban that will bring significant benefits to anyone who travels o n I-95 and I-395 in Northern Virginia.

Extensions of the 95 Express Lanes are planned in both the north and south - providing our customers with even more time-savings and predictability.

Transurban thanks our more than 2 million customers and are proud to host approximately 85,000 trips each day on the Express Lanes. As we did with the 495 and 95 Express Lanes, Transurban will work to deliver these improvements safely and as quickly as possible.

395 Express Lanes Extension Project

The 395 Express Lanes project will convert the existing two I-395 HOV lanes into three Express Lanes from Edsall Road - where the 95 Express Lanes end today - to the D.C. line. Here's what you need to know:

* Carpoolers with three or more will travel for free and other drivers will have a new option for a faster rush hour trip by paying a toll

* The project will provide dedicated funding for transit improvements along the corridor

* There will be no changes to most interchanges, including around Shirlington Roa d

* The Seminary Road ramps will remain HOV-only

* Eligible communities will be able to vote to receive sound walls

* Project partners are dedicated to robust public outreach and will seek input from all impacted parties

* Construction of the project could generate 1,500 jobs

* Work could start as soon as spring 2017 and is estimated to take about two years

Please visit for more information on the project.
Governor McAuliffe Announces Key Tax Cut and Credit Proposals

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced key tax cut and credit proposals des igned to bolster Virginia's business climate and generate swift incentives for economic growth. 

The Governor's tax proposals, which support the economic goals in the two-year budget he will unveil on Dec. 17, include a reduction in the corporate income tax rate, a new research and development tax credit, improvements to two existing tax credits and a reduction in the number of merchants required to make accelerated sales tax payments each June.

"In order to build the new Virginia economy, we have to make the Commonwealth competitive in the global market. My tax cut and credit proposals ensure that the Commonwealth will attract more businesses, create jobs, and promote economic development," said Governor McAuliffe in a speech to reporters from across the Commonwealth gathered for the annual Associated Press Day.

Governor McAuliffe is calling for a reduction in the corporate income tax rate from 6 percent to 5.75 percent effective January 1, 2017. The action will generate nearly $64 million in tax relief for businesses over two years. The broad-based tax proposal will provide significant benefits for all corporations rather than selecting winners and losers.

The Governor noted that North Carolina has reduced its corporate income tax rate from 6.9 percent to 5 percent in the past two years and is scheduled to enact an additional rate reduction on January 1, 2016, bringing the rate to 4 percent.

The Governor is also proposing a new Research and Development Tax Credit with a statewide annual cap of $15 million. The credit is designed to benefit companies with more than $5 million in annual research spending. The new credit becomes effective in Taxable Year 2016 with a sunset date of 2026.

Additionally, Governor McAuliffe proposed to strengthen the existing R&D Tax Credit by raising the statewide cap from $6 million to $7 million and extending the sunset date from 2019 to 2026.

Governor McAuliffe is also proposing an increase in the cap on Virginia's Angel Investor Tax Credit, from $5 million to $9 million, with $2 million earmarked for bioscience projects.

Finally, Governor McAuliffe announced his commitment to reduce the number of merchants required to provide accelerated payments of sales taxes at the end of the state's fiscal year each June.

The Governor will unveil his complete budget on December 17.

Congress Passes Transportation Bill

Congressman Gerry Connolly Discusses Important Transportation Legislation

Congressman Connolly (D-Va 11)
Good news, Northern Virginia! After 36 short-term extensions since 2009,
Congress finally passed a long-term, five-year transportation funding bill. Representing Northern Virginia, which has the dubious honor of having the nation's worst congestion, I was pleased to serve on the  joint House-Senate conference committee that negotiated this final compromise.
It's been more than a decade since Congress passed a long-term transportation funding bill, which has stunted economic growth and resulted in crumbling roads and bridges across the Commonwealth. Coming from local government, I know firsthand how critical long-term federal investments are to building complex infrastructure projects. These are not short-term ventures. It takes years to plan, design, and build a major improvement. And securing funding streams are necessary before investors will commit their time, effort and capital. Yet these are the types of visionary investments we should be making in every community.
That's why it was so important that Congress pass the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which will increase federal investments in roads, bridges, mass transit, and safety programs. Over the next five years, it will provide nearly $480 million in additional funding for local road and highway projects in Virginia, and nearly $52 million in additional mass transit support, which is particularly important to regions like ours in providing commuters with more transportation choices.
Had Congress failed to act and not address the shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund, the effects would have been significant throughout Virginia, where more than half of next year's road and transit projects are to be funded in part with federal dollars. For example, if we did not replenish the Trust Fund, 149 bridge replacements would be put on hold, 175 aging buses and train cars would not be replaced, 350 other projects would grind to a halt, and more than 43,000 jobs in Virginia and other states that supply labor and materials would be lost.
While this bill further advances innovative financing solutions, such as public private partnerships like those used to build the interstate 95 and 495 Express Lanes, those are only one part of the solution.  At the end of the day, what we really need is more robust and reliable federal funding. This bill falls short of what the President and many industry experts say is necessary not only to maintain but to expand our transportation network. The federal government historically has been an equal partner in funding our nation's infrastructure, but that level of investment has eroded over time. Public spending on infrastructure as a share of GDP has declined by half since the 1960s when it was roughly 3%. However, we know that every dollar invested in public transportation translates into four dollars of economic growth.
I was pleased to see the bill continue innovative federal financing opportunities for smaller road and transit projects, particularly transit oriented development projects, under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (or TIFIA). Unfortunately, the compromise bill reduces the annual funding for this federal financing program. Several major Northern Virginia projects, including the Silver Line and both the 495 and 95 Express Lanes, have benefitted tremendously from federal loans under the TIFIA program, and we should be expanding those opportunities.
So while this bill represents a real breakthrough, there is still work to be done. Just as I have done throughout my 20 years in public office, I will continue to advocate for increased investments in transportation because of the tremendous return our communities realize in terms of improved mobility, job creation, and economic growth.



The Chamber will host its annual Legislative Kick-Off on Wednesday, December 16 from 8:00am-10:00am at Old Hickory Golf Club. 

The normally scheduled December 15 policy committee meeting has been canceled.

The next policy committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 at 9:30am at the Prince William Chamber of Commerce Headquarters.

I hope you enjoy the holidays with your family and have a great start to the new year!  


   Director, Government Relations 


Special thanks to Advocacy Vision Partner