A. Subject to the appropriation by the General Assembly of sufficient moneys to the Virginia Collaborative Economic Development Performance Grant Fund, participating localities may be eligible for grants as provided in this section, subject to the conditions set forth in this section and in the guidelines developed pursuant to subsection E. In order to be eligible to apply for a grant, the participating localities shall have contributed to a project or effort described in a collaborative economic development plan an amount as determined pursuant to subsection C, and the participating localities shall demonstrate that the projects or efforts undertaken pursuant to the collaborative economic development plan induced or resulted in the location or expansion of a certified company in the participating localities.
B. Grants shall be paid to the participating localities in the year following certification by the Partnership of a certified company. Grants may be paid annually for up to six years so long as the certified company substantially maintains the new jobs and capital investment, and the participating localities continue to implement any relevant provisions of the collaborative economic development plan.
1. After taking into consideration other state and local financial commitments made to the certified company, the annual amount of a grant from the Fund shall be not more than an amount equal to 45 percent of the total annual amount of personal income tax withheld for payment to the Virginia Department of Taxation from employees holding new jobs at the applicable certified company. By March 31 of each year, the Partnership and the Virginia Department of Taxation shall determine whether a certified company has met or substantially maintained the new job and capital investment requirements and shall compute, based on the amount of personal income tax withheld from employees holding new jobs, the moneys available to be disbursed as performance grants to the participating localities. If an application for a grant is approved pursuant to subsection D, the aggregate amount of grants awarded for that application over a six-year period shall not exceed 50 percent of the total investment or contributions of the participating localities to the economic development project or effort. Approved grants shall be disbursed annually to or for the benefit of the participating localities in accordance with the terms of the collaborative economic development plan. The aggregate amount of grants payable pursuant to this chapter shall not exceed $ 20 million in any fiscal year. The Board may prorate the grants payable in a fiscal year if the amount of grants applied for and awarded exceeds $ 20 million.
2. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision 1, if the Board makes a written finding of significant fiscal distress in or extraordinary economic opportunity for the participating localities, the Board may award an aggregate amount of grants for an application approved pursuant to subsection D that is up to 100 percent of the total investment or contributions of the participating localities.
D. The Partnership shall forward to the Board the economic development project or effort for which it approved a collaborative economic development plan and certified a company. The Board shall review such economic development project or effort, following the criteria included in the guidelines developed pursuant to subsection E, and vote whether to award a grant pursuant to this chapter. The Board shall determine the annual amount and the aggregate amount of the grant to be awarded for each approved economic development project or effort, subject to the provisions of subsection C.
E. The Board shall develop guidelines implementing the provisions of this chapter. No grant shall be awarded until the Board provides copies of such guidelines for review to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Finance. The preparation of the guidelines shall be exempt from the requirements of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).
F. The Fund shall be audited annually by the Auditor of Public Accounts or his legally authorized representatives. Copies of the annual audit shall be distributed to the Governor and to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Finance.
2016, cc. 776, 777.