The City of Virginia Beach offers a variety of incentives to qualifying new or expanding businesses to help defray costs for building or energy-efficiencies improvements. Also, businesses can capitalize on a number of various incentives offered by the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Virginia Port Authority.
Tax Advantage Highlights
Source: City of Virginia Beach Commissioner of the Revenue (2023)
Economic Development Investment Program (EDIP)
The Virginia Beach Development Authority can provide EDIP funds to qualifying businesses that are locating or expanding in the city. The EDIP was established to support projects that create new jobs and capital investment in Virginia Beach. EDIP monies may be used for allowable infrastructure improvements and certain other project purposes, which will help to reduce the costs of relocating and expanding in our community.
Façade Improvement Grants (FIG)
2023 applications have exceeded the funding available and the program is now closed.
The Façade Improvement Grants (FIG) program provides support to existing small business owners with less than 50 employees located on any commercially or industrially zoned property. The grant funds must be used for new projects that make a visible, demonstrable improvement to the exterior of a building or property, such as façades, fencing, signage or landscape improvements. Awards are made to eligible applicants on a competitive first-come, first-served basis until the funds are depleted for the year.
Business License Incentive Program for New Businesses
If you meet the code qualifications and have gross receipts over $200,000 for the first two license years, you will only pay $50.00 each year.
Business License Incentives for Maritime Shipping Companies
The business license tax rate for marine cargo shipping businesses (not an arrangement of transportation, haulers, or deliverers) shall be 0.36 % of the gross receipts during the preceding year up to $500,000 plus 0.000001 % of gross receipts in excess of $500,000.
Data Center Tax Reduction
The City of Virginia Beach has reduced the tax rate for data center equipment to solidify its business-friendly approach to this growing industry sector. The new tax rate decreases the tax on computers and peripherals used in data centers to $0.40 per $100 of assessed value, with a depreciation schedule of 40 percent of the original cost.
Industrial Revenue Bonds
The Virginia Beach Development Authority issues Industrial Revenue Bonds to provide financial assistance to private sector entities for the acquisition and construction of industrial and commercial facilities. Upon repayment of the bonds, ownership of the facilities transfers to the private-sector entity served by the bond issuance. Since these bonds are tax-exempt, the interest rates offered are significantly lower than traditional forms of financing.
Fast-Track Permitting Program
Fast-tracking streamlines permitting and construction so custom office buildings and industrial facilities can be built and operational in as little as six months. This is at least 50% less time than the typical non-fast-track construction time of 12 to 18 months or more. The Department of Economic Development will also assist fast-track companies in locating and setting up temporary training facilities at our Advanced Technology Center during construction so business operations can begin simultaneously with the move-in date.
Planning and Community Development holds development project meetings every Thursday virtually with all city departments and divisions involved in development review. These meetings allow developers, consultants, and city staff to discuss projects and share ideas and concerns in an informal setting before large amounts of time and money are expended.
City staff provides technical knowledge and explains city requirements and processes. Meetings may be held at any phase of a project – due diligence, pre-design, pre-submittal or post-review. Request a meeting or contact the Development Services Center at (757) 385-8277 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Energy-Efficient Buildings Tax Reduction
A special tax rate is available to qualified residential and commercial energy-efficient buildings, not including the land on which they are located. Qualified buildings must be determined to be energy-efficient buildings by a qualified licensed engineer or contractor who is not related to the applicant, as required by Section 58.1-3221.2 of the Code of Virginia. The current reduced rate is $0.84 per $100 of assessed value.
YesOceana APZ-1 Incentives
The YesOceana program was developed to meet the requirements of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission to protect our residents and keep the Navy’s East Coast master jet base, Naval Air Station Oceana, in Virginia Beach. This innovative program consists of zoning ordinances and economic incentives to foster the conversion of nonconforming businesses in the Accident Potential Zone 1 (APZ-1) into conforming ones and relocating ones that can not be converted to another part of Virginia Beach.
Virginia Beach is proud to be a part of several successful public-private partnerships. Through these agreements, the skills and assets of each sector (public and private) are shared in delivering a service or facility for the use of the general public. In addition to the sharing of resources, each party shares in the risks and rewards potential in the delivery of the service and/or facility.
Successful examples include: