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The Virginia Manufacturer - Focusing on Manufacturing Issues of Today and Tomorrow

Virginia Manufacturer's Association

In This Issue

Upcoming VMA Committee Meetings
Upcoming VMA Events

MFG Makes VA Town Hall at Bristol Motor Speedway

May 2 

To register, click here.

MSI Workforce Symposium
August 8, 2019
9AM - 4:30PM
Liberty University, School of Business


17th Annual Virginia Environmental Health and Safety Conference (VEHS)

September 18 -19
Hilton Hotel & Spa
12042 West Broad St.
Richmond, VA

[Only six exhibitor tables left at VEHS.] 

Virginia Competitiveness Forum 
2nd Annual VMA STEP Ahead Award Recognition Luncheon

November 19
Williamsburg Lodge Conference Center
310 S England St.
Williamsburg, VA

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VOLUME 4 | Edition 9 | April 2019
Letter from the President & CEO

Dear Members:

The Virginia General Assembly concluded its veto session on April 3.  Governor Northam submitted amendments to Senator Mark Obenshain's SB1716 and Delegate Steve Landes' HB2718 to increase the statewide Diesel Tax, Statewide Road (IFTA) Tax, Statewide Truck Registration Fees, create an I-81 Regional Fuels Tax and create an I-81 Committee.  This is important because it represents over a $1.5 billion new tax on businesses in the Commonwealth without going through any of the General Assembly's subcommittee or committee process.
The bills were originally introduced as I-81 vehicle tolling bills that allowed only cars to access a flat rate commuter pass to bypass actual tolling. The I-81 tolling provisions failed, and the bill was rewritten to create an I-81 Committee to continue to develop consensus on funding options and project prioritization for safety and capacity improvements to I-81 for the 2020 legislative session. The revised bill passed 97-0 in the House and 37-2 in the Senate.
However, Governor Northam recommended amendments to these bills one week before the April 3 veto session to add the four major tax increases. Speaker Cox and Senator Norment ruled the amendments germane. The patrons of the legislation, Senator Mark Obenshain and Delegate Steve Landes, allowed the amendments despite voting against the bills. The House and Senate narrowly adopted the Governor's amendments with no subcommittee hearings, committee hearings, public input or stakeholder consideration.

General Assembly Vote:
  • House Adopted Governor's Amendments (60-39-1)
  • Senate Adopted Governor's Amendments (22-14-4)

The VMA opposed the bills based upon the precedent they have now established by raising taxes without the normal legislative process or public input.  The VMA and its coalition, including the VA Forest Products Association, VA Loggers Association, and VA Manufactured and Modular Housing Association, opposed the bills because they fundamentally jeopardize Virginia's manufacturing competitiveness. It moves Virginia from 16th best in diesel and road taxation to 8th highest in the U.S. before including the new regional fuel tax. The Truck Registration fee also makes Virginia less competitive for fleet operators. Virginia will be uncompetitive against 6 of 9 competing southern states and its diesel and road (IFTA) taxes will be substantially above both the southern states and national averages and medians. The VMA supported the Regional Fuels Tax only.
So, to recap, the Governor's approved r ecommendations were:
  • VA Truck Registration Fee Increase - Increase fee from $16.25 to $23.25 per 1,000 pounds for vehicles 76,001 through 80,000 pounds
  • VA Diesel Tax Increase - 2.03% (6.8 cents/gal), effective July 1, 2021
  • VA Road Tax (IFTA) Increase - 5 cents from 3.5 cents/gal. (8.5 cents/gal.), effective July 1, 2019, and another 5 cents to 13.5 cents/gal., effective July 1, 2020. Increase in the $150 annual fee paid on intrastate vehicles over 26,001 lbs. in lieu IFTA tax by amount equal to the percentage increase in the IFTA tax on July 1, 2019 and July 1, 2020
  • I-81 Regional Fuel Tax Increase - 2.1% fuels tax on gas (7.6 cents/gal.) and diesel (7.7 cents/gal.)
 Also, the legislators that voted for this historic tax increase are as follows:
  1. House - All but one (1) Democrat voted to adopt the Governor's amendments - Delegate Rosslyn Tyler (House District 75).
  2. House - Only twelve (12) Republicans voted to adopt the Governor's amendments - Austin, Bell (Richard P.), Campbell (R.R.), Davis, Helsel, Hodges, Jones (S.C.), Knight, Marshall, Stolle, Wilt, Yancey. Delegate Bloxom did not vote.
  3. Senate - All but one (1) Democrat voted to adopt the Governor's amendments - Senator Locke did not vote.
  4. Senate - Only four (4) Republicans voted to adopt the Governor's amendments - Senators Carrico, DeSteph, Norment and Wagner. Senators Peake, Stanley and Stuart did not vote.
  5. Funds are allocated to interstates by Vehicle Miles Traveled.
So, as the VMA considers how to respond to this tax increase, we need member feedback.  Specifically, should the VMA lobby to have the 2021 diesel tax and/or 2020 road tax increases repealed?  Please send us your thoughts to jtongel@vamanufacturers.com.


Brett A. Vassey
President & CEO

VMA Commerce Committee
May 16 @ Volvo Penta

11:00AM-1:00PM | 1300 Volvo Penta Drive | Chesapeake, VA

The next meeting will focus on  the Trade Act  benefits to your company, the value of VITAL export assistance resources, federal exports resources through the US Commercial Services, a review of the state's draft international trade plan , a discussion about a bilateral trade promotion agreement with the Manufacturers' Association of Israel, and an expert panel to answer questions pertaining to tariffs, export financing and trade compliance regulations. Attendees will also tour the Volvo Penta facility after the program.  

Although it's only been in existence for a little over 18 months, the impact of the Commerce Committee cannot be understated. This was on fully display at our Virginia-Israeli Supply Chain Matchup on March 28th. The meetings were the first in a series of potential events taking place as a result of the VMA's signing of an MOU with the Manufacturers Association of Israel (MAI) to facilitate $800m in partnering deals for defense manufacturers. 

PPI-TimeZero, a leading electronics manufacturer located in Waynesboro, VA, has already begun a strategic relationship with one of the Israeli contractors in attendance. Pete Brooks, Sales Manager with PPI, in remarking on the significance of the MOU, said that, "PPI - TimeZero appreciates the dedication and continued networking of businesses locally and internationally provided by the Virginia Manufacturers Association."

2019 STEP Ahead Awards Gala - April 11

The Manufacturing Institute recognized 130 women at the 2019 STEP Ahead Awards ceremony on April 11 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.  The STEP Ahead Awards honor women in manufacturing for their leadership and accomplishments.  

Three women from Virginia were honored at this event:
  • Sudharshanan Apte, Sr. Scientist II, Altria (ALCS)
  • Tudy Stewart, Shift Test Engineer, Huntington Ingalls Industries
  • Vera Wintink, IT Systems Engineer, Huntington Ingalls Industries  

If you are interested in the Virginia Women in Manufacturing Council and its programs, including support for the STEP Ahead Award program, please contact Kimberly Noonan, VMA Member Services Director, at knoonan@vamanufacturers.com

Member Benefit: VMA Retirement Solution

The VMA has partnered with Tag Resources because of their more than 100 years experience in the retirement industry so that small to medium sized manufacturers can offer a retirement plan to their employees while reducing administrative burden, mitigating and transferring fiduciary risks, and potentially saving money.  

The VMA Retirement Solution brings together a team of professionals on your behalf so you can focus on running your business .

To learn more about the VMA's Retirement Solution or to set up a meeting with our advisor, please visit our website here:  http://vma.tagresources.com/. 

A Gift for Your Graduate - Microsoft Office Products
With the graduation season right around the corner, the Virginia Industry Foundation is providing a discount of up to 25% on Microsoft Office products for that special student in your life. The cost savings doesn't stop there -   VMA member companies can also access this discount as they renew their Microsoft Office licenses. 

All proceeds from the Microsoft Re-seller program go to the Virginia Industry Foundation (VIF) which provides philanthropic support to key educational, economic development, and career development resources.  Go to the VIF website and view pricing and details.  

Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work on April 25
NAM and the Manufacturing Institute has partnered with the Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day Foundation to spread the word about Manufacturing (MFG) Day 2019. Don't forget to take your son or daughter to work on April 25 -- the theme of this year's event is "Workforce Development for All."  Also, mark your calendar for Manufacturing Day on Oct. 4 to showcase what you're doing to educate students and the public about manufacturing careers.