Proposed Bill to Give Tax Credit for Hiring Virginia Graduates - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

General Assembly to Consider Bill to Give Tax Credit for Hiring Virginia Graduates

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Things might be looking up for new college graduates looking for jobs. If one legislative proposal becomes law in Virginia, a college degree from anywhere in this state may suddenly become more valuable to employers and even more attractive to prospective students.

House Bill 1303 would provide a tax credit to small businesses that hire recent Virginia graduates, but one labor economist isn't convinced the bill will do much to spur hiring.

"My understanding from the career center here is that there is a lot more interest in hiring in the last two years," said Dr. Leslie Stratton, a VCU professor and labor economist.

Delegate Charniele Herring, chairwoman of the Virginia Democratic Party, proposed the bill.

"Small businesses are the backbone, I believe, of our economy," said Herring. "And it's also to help students in their quest to find a job."

Herring says her proposed bill would give small businesses a tax credit "for each new full-time job created by the small business during the taxable year that has been filled by a Virginia graduate."

The credit would amount to $2,500 for each new job, but Stratton is skeptical. "The costs will probably outweigh the benefits for most cases," said Stratton.

She cites narrow requirements; for example, only businesses with less than $10 million in annual sales qualify. Stratton also says there are hidden costs of training and paperwork.

"There are a lot of hurdles that firms have to meet in order to effectively use this," said Stratton.

Herring disagrees. "I don't see big barriers to entry for this tax credit," she said. "I'm hopeful that this bill will pass, but I'm looking forward to working with everybody on helping Virginia's businesses grow."

Herring filed this bill during the last General Assembly session. It is now bundled with other tax credit bills up for consideration during the 2013 session.

Click here for the full text of House Bill 1303.

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