Virginia offers some of the broadest sales and use tax exemptions in the U.S.

Virginia does not tax intangible property, manufacturers' inventory, and manufacturers' furniture, fixtures and corporate aircraft.

Administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation, this program assists localities in providing adequate road access to new and expanding basic employers.

TPOF is a discretionary grant available for transportation-related issues related to unique economic development projects.

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The list could go on and on. States must be competitive if they want to keep businesses within their State and or County. Why would a business want to stay in an area that is not assisting in their growth or investing in them? Like many of us we will go where we can be the most successful and productive. It is important that Harford County works hard to retain its largest employers including Rite Aid Mid-Atlantic Dist. Center, Jacobs Technology, Klein's ShopRite of Maryland, SAIC, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sephora, Alcore. Due to Harford County's Economic Development program and many dedicated Harford County government workers, Harford County had the fastest over the year wage growth among Maryland's eight large counties and the third fastest nationwide and Harford County had an increase of 6,410 jobs. With more businesses and more jobs comes additional tax revenue and opportunity for growth.

Some agree with the program and see its value but want to know why Smith's Detection? The Harford County Council did not have any involvement with choosing which company the grant goes to but I feel that Smiths Detection meets the qualifications set out by the board and is and has been a productive member of the Harford County Community. Smith's Detection is one of five operating divisions of Smiths Group, a global technology company. They are the world's leading provider of advanced technologies to identify constantly evolving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats. They are the global leader in the provision of threat detection and screening technologies for the military, transportation, homeland security and resilience applications such as; contraband detection, forensic work, meteorological measuring and video network monitoring. They currently employ 222 people and will be adding a projected 103 new employees. Due in part to this grant and other State incentives they will be expanding their operations from 145,00 square feet to 245,000 square feet. They are investing over $1.5 million in their expansion efforts in Harford County. Smiths did not indicate they would reduce their operations in Edgewood but, were looking at relocating these new units to a new location. Since this is the manufacturing portion of the company, they could locate anywhere in the world. It is and was very important to obtain as much of their work in one place and have them consolidate in the Edgewood location. Smith's did look at numerous sites before making their final decision to invest in Harford County.

Smith's Detection today employs over 23,000 people in more than 50 countries throughout its five divisions - John Crane, Smiths Medical, Smiths Detection, Smiths Interconnect and Flex-Tek. However, Edgewood Maryland is its US Headquarters. They work with local military, first responders, transportation authorities, and customs officials to protect our critical national infrastructure throughout the world.

The WFTTG program has assisted 15 Harford County Companies, and trained 276 Harford County employees. Smith's Detection in partnering with WFTTG will, over the next three years, train an additional 100 employees or more. Bring in 103 new jobs. Pay more in property and income tax as a company. Provide additional capital to the surrounding businesses including restaurants and gas stations. Reduce the unoccupied home rates and increase Harford County's revenue enabling Harford County to invest in other projects like, schools, roads, community centers, and libraries. This vote for me was a vote to invest in Harford County, a vote to invest in Harford County employees and to invest in improving and moving our amazing County forward.

Councilman Dion F. Guthrie

District A, Edgewood Joppa