Tax Incentive Evaluation Law: Virginia

Tax Incentive Evaluation Law: Virginia

This page is no longer being updated. As of June 15, 2017, newer tax incentive evaluation fact sheets are available here.

To ensure that economic development tax incentives are achieving their goals effectively, many states have approved laws requiring regular, rigorous, independent evaluations of these programs. For a list of states that have passed evaluation laws since the start of 2012, click here.


H.B. 30, enacted May 20, 2016

What it does

Requires evaluation of all major tax incentives

A new unit within the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) reviews and evaluates the performance of individual economic development incentive programs, including grants and tax preferences.

JLARC’s nonpartisan analysts review programs on a cycle that the commission will approve.

Ensures that agencies share relevant information

Confidential information is granted to evaluators but shielded from public disclosure.

JLARC evaluators are granted access to relevant facilities, employees, information, and records, including executive session meetings and records of the board of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

Excerpt from Virginia’s law: The scope of reviews and evaluations

The areas of review and evaluation to be conducted by the Commission shall include, but are not limited to, the following: (i) spending on and performance of individual economic development incentives, including grants, tax preferences, and other assistance; (ii) economic benefits to Virginia of total spending on economic development initiatives at least biennially; (iii) effectiveness, value to taxpayers, and economic benefits to Virginia of individual economic development initiatives on a cycle approved by the Commission; and (iv) design, oversight, and accountability of economic development entities, initiatives, and policies as needed.

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Issue Brief

Tax Incentive Programs: Evaluate Today, Improve Tomorrow

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Issue Brief

This report advises states on how to design and implement tax incentive evaluation laws, so that these programs are studied regularly and rigorously and so that lawmakers can use the findings to improve economic development policy.