Local tech incentives - upping the ante

Over the past few weeks several communities in Greater Washington have either proposed or implemented changes to their incentives policies in the hopes of attracting more tech companies.  Here is a quick rundown of some of their actions:

Arlington, VA: Proposed expanding the definition of eligible businesses that can take advantage of Technology Zone incentives that reduce the Business Professional and Occupational License tax on gross receipts.  If implemented, smaller business (<100 workers) and expanding firms (not just new businesses) in a broader set of technology fields will be eligible for a 50% rate reduction ($0.18 instead of $0.36) in all 4 of the County’s Technology Zones.

Digital DC:  The District of Columbia has committed $1 million to a venture fund that would provide $25k-$250k grants to early stage tech entrepreneurs locating in a designated corridor in the city.  These businesses would also be eligible for funding for building rehabilitation or office construction. Digital DC adds to existing DC Tech Incentives and incubator/accelerator programs supported by the city.

Montgomery County, MD: Now offers a Cybersecurity Investment Incentive Tax Credit Supplement intended to promote job and business creation in the cybersecurity field.  Companies in the county designated as a Qualified Maryland Cybersecurity Company are eligible for the local supplement. The County also offers the Local Biotech Investment Tax Credit, which is “an add-on to already approved investors by the State and is given as cash, not credit.”

Prince William County, VA: Recently expanded the list of industries eligible for existing incentives, now including data centers, federal agencies, IT and cybersecurity, engineering services, computer game design, bioinformatics and nanotechnology, and several healthcare-related industries, among others. The County has also begun construction on a Science Accelerator Wet Lab facility to attract growing life sciences companies.

Prince George’s County, MD: Approved creation of a science and technology business district in order to create jobs by providing tax incentives, streamlining permitting and approvals, and fostering collaboration among academia, government and industry. The district in the northwestern portion of the county includes College Park, Greenbelt and Beltsville.

Alexandria, VA: A Business Tax Reform Task Force has as one of its objectives to “identify revenue or other incentives that the City can deploy to attract businesses and encourage beneficial development aligning with the City’s Strategic Plan”

This list is not intended to be comprehensive but meant to show the range of actions local governments are taking in the incentives arena.  Comments, additions and updates are welcome!

Also, much appreciation to the Washington Business Journal and Washington Post for their reporting on local economic development and incentives. 

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