[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of Warren County 4-20-1999. Amendments noted where applicable.
It is the purpose of the technology zone to foster high quality job creation and investment by technology related businesses, pursuant to the authority granted by § 58.1-3850 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A. Except as provided in Subsection B below, a "technology business" includes any business that derives, in whole or part, gross receipts from computer software, hardware or telecommunication sales, leases, licenses; or services for which computers or telecommunications are used to provide sales, leases, licensing or services directly to the customer. Such businesses include but are not limited to the following:
- (1) Electronic information operations and providers.
- (2) Internet service providers.
- (3) Software design and development.
- (4) Computer and peripherals sales or assembly.
- (5) Content developers.
- (6) Internet-based sales and service.
- (7) Hardware design, manufacture, assembly and development.
- (8) Telecommunications-based video service providers.
- (9) Outbound or inbound call centers.
- (10) Telecommunications equipment manufacturing, assembly or service.
- B. "Technology business" does not include regulated utilities, telephone companies or cable companies, nor does it include a business that merely uses computers or telecommunications in its internal operations.
Determination of eligibility shall be made by public board action by the Industrial Development Authority of the Town of Front Royal and County of Warren trading as the Economic Development Authority, the administrator of the program. Upon approval, the Economic Development Authority shall submit a written report to the Warren County Director of Finance of such determination and include therein the name and address of the qualifying business, a description of the activities meeting the definitions of § 162-2 of this Code and the incentives for which the business is qualified.
In order to qualify for local incentives pertaining to business and occupational licenses under this chapter, a technology business must be located within the boundaries of a Warren County Technology Zone and conform to the zoning therein.
A technology business located in a technology zone must also make and maintain the following minimum job and capital investments, after November 30, 2009, within 12 months of technology zone application:
Minimum job creation: two full-time jobs paying a minimum of 2.0 times the minimum wage plus a health and benefit plan valued equal to at least 10% of the base wage.
Minimum investment: $10,000 (improvements, equipment or machinery). Inventory does not count toward minimum investment. Notwithstanding the preceding, the minimum investment within the Downtown Technology Zone shall be $3,000.
A technology business must be, at the time of application, and remain, during eligibility, current in all local, state and federal taxes and appropriate user fees. The technology business must certify the same to the Economic Development Authority at the time of application and annually thereafter.
Permit fee grants. The Economic Development Authority shall provide cash reimbursements for the following local permits and fees up to a maximum cumulative value of $500 for qualified technology zone businesses, provided that the technology business' application for reimbursement is filed with the Economic Development Authority within the first 12 months of operation within the zone:
Business professional and occupational license taxes. Provided that they continue to remain qualified, qualified technology businesses shall be entitled to a credit of business and occupational license fees for that portion of their business classified as a "technology business" for a ten-year period while the business is located within a Warren County Technology Zone as follows: During the first five years following application approval, the technology business shall be entitled to a one-hundred-percent credit of its business and occupational license fees. During the sixth year, the technology business firm shall be entitled to an eighty-percent credit. During the seventh year, the technology business firm shall be entitled to a sixty-percent credit. During the eighth year, the technology business firm shall be entitled to a forty-percent credit. During the ninth and tenth years, the technology business firm shall be entitled to a twenty-percent credit.
Cash grants. Qualified technology businesses may be eligible for annual cash grants to be determined on a case-by-case basis by the County of Warren and Town of Front Royal during the negotiation process based on job creation and investment. A minimum of 10 full-time jobs paying at least 2.0 times the minimum wage and benefits as noted above and a minimum investment of $10,000 shall be required to be eligible for cash grants. Notwithstanding the preceding, in the Downtown Technology Zone a minimum of three such full-time jobs and a minimum investment of $3,000 shall be required to be eligible for cash grants.
All Warren County benefits are limited to that portion of the business enterprise created and maintained for and qualified under this technology zone program.
Two distinct technology zones are included herein as follows:
Happy Creek Zone. This zone generally focuses on the Happy Creek Industrial Park and the northern portion of the Human Life International site. These lands are Zone I-2, Industrial Employment District. Technology-based businesses with a manufacturing component are encouraged to locate in this zone, consistent with the provisions of the I-2 Industrial Employment District.
Downtown Front Royal Zone. This zone is located within the downtown area of Front Royal and is generally coincident with the C-2 Downtown Business District. Technology-based businesses with a service orientation are encouraged to locate in this zone. Ground-level storefronts are strongly encouraged to be used for retail activities. Due to the inherent size and capacity limitations of a downtown technology business, qualification thresholds for total investment requirement will be reduced from $10,000 to $3,000 and total full-time jobs created at two times the minimum wage rate will be reduced from 10 to three in this zone.
Each qualified technology business applying for benefits in the Technology Zone Program will execute a contract with the Economic Development Authority and the County of Warren that will detail the specific terms and conditions of the technology business' participation in the program. This contract must be fully executed prior to award of any program benefits.