A bill by Dels. Barbara Comstock (R-34) and David Ramadan (R-87) to provide a tax credit for some teleworkers could soon become a reality after it passed the Virginia House this week and moves on to the Senate.
HB 1336 would give residents who telework a minimum of 20 hours per week 45 weeks per year a $250 income tax credit.
The bill passed the house Monday on a 59-38 vote. All of Loudoun's delegates voted in favor of the bill.
“I’m happy and thankful for the support our Telework Tax Credit Bill received today,” Delegate Ramadan said in a press release. “Telework not only helps in alleviating our congested roads but also gives our constituents more time with their families instead of being stuck in traffic. We are looking forward to the Senate passing this bill into law.”
According to the bill, residents could apply for the credit through the Department of Taxation, which would issue the credits on a first-come, first-serve basis to employees who meet the requirements.
The department would be limited to no more than $1 million in tax credits in any fiscal year, or enough for 4,000 residents.
If the bill passes the senate, employees could begin taking advantage of the credit for taxable years beginning this year through Jan. 1, 2018.
"Telework is a win-win solution for Northern Virginia workers and drivers. I look forward to continuing to promote the growth of telework as an option for small businesses, corporations and government alike," Comstock said, adding the credit would allow employees to better "set up a situation to work from home."
About 4.3 percent of all workers across the U.S. telecommute, according to the most recent U.S. Census data available from the American Community Survey.
In the DC area, about 23.5 percent of all regional workers said they telecommute either regularly or occasionally — which amounts to about 600,000 workers region-wide, according to a 2011 report from the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.
The groups said they expect those numbers to grow in coming years.
Teleworking was suggested by experts this week as part of a solution to the area's growing traffic problem, on the heels of a report from the Texas Transportation Institute which ranked the DC area No. 1 in the nation in traffic and commuting times and costs.
How the bill will fare in the Senate is unclear: A similar bill introduced by Del. William Stanley Jr. (R-20th) — which proposed a $500 tax credit with a limit of $2 million — was indefinitely put on hold earlier this year by the Senate Finance Committee.Like Patch on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
How They Voted
See how your delegate voted on HB 1336:
YEAS--Albo, Anderson, BaCote, Bell, Robert B., Bulova, Byron, Cline, Cole,Comstock, Cox, M.K., Dudenhefer, Edmunds, Farrell, Filler-Corn, Greason,Habeeb, Head, Helsel, Hodges, Hugo, Iaquinto, Joannou, Johnson, Keam,Kilgore, LeMunyon, Lewis, Lingamfelter, Lopez, Loupassi, Marshall, R.G., Massie, May, Merricks, Miller, Minchew, O'Bannon, O'Quinn, Plum, Pogge, Poindexter,Purkey, Putney, Ramadan, Robinson, Rush, Rust, Scott, J.M., Sherwood, Stolle,Tata, Villanueva, Ware, O., Watson, Webert, Wilt, Yancey, Yost, Mr. Speaker--59.
NAYS--Bell, Richard P., Brink, Carr, Cox, J.A., Crockett-Stark, Dance, Fariss, Garrett, Gilbert, Herring, Hester, Hope, Ingram, James, Jones, Knight, Kory,Krupicka, Landes, Marshall, D.W., McClellan, McQuinn, Morefield, Morris,Morrissey, Orrock, Peace, Ransone, Scott, E.T., Sickles, Spruill, Surovell, Torian,Toscano, Tyler, Ware, R.L., Watts, Wright--38.
NOT VOTING--Howell, A.T., Ward--2.