Business

Indebted Virginia Economy Needs ‘Reboot’

OFF BALANCE: Virginia’s state and local debt is going through the roof, putting the state’s economy at risk. Photo by Associated Press.

OFF BALANCE: Virginia’s state and local debt is going through the roof, putting the state’s economy at risk. Photo by Associated Press.

By Kenric Ward | From Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau

RICHMOND, Va. — Not long ago, Virginia was considered to be in the pink of economic health. That diagnosis has turned dark red as the state and its municipalities pile up debt.

On paper, Virginia maintains a balanced budget. But government indebtedness is expanding faster than any single budget category — including the much-debated cost of Medicaid.

Debt-service expenditures jumped 120 percent since 2006, reports Jim Regimbal, principal of Fiscal Analytics Ltd., in Richmond. Continue reading


A Not-So-Private Plan: Virginia Beach Taxpayers Fund Deal with Chinese

This article originally appeared on Watchdog.org.

Virginia Beach taxpayers

WILL THEY COME?: Virginia Beach wants to build an arena, with help from a Chinese company.

By Kaitlyn Speer | Watchdog.org, Virginia Bureau

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Another Chinese company plans to invest in the Old Dominion, and Virginia Beach taxpayers will help foot the bill.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced a few weeks ago Shandong Tranlin Paper Co.’s plan to invest $2 billion in Chesterfield County. Now, China Machinery Engineering Corp. of Beijing plans to partner with a Virginia-based company to build an 18,000-seat arena and sports complex.

The 50,000-square-foot facility will cost an estimated $200 million, but that doesn’t include other costs paid by Virginia Beach, an additional $10 million for other costs, or the land the city is contributing to the deal. Continue reading


Taxicab Industry Has History of Lobbying, Donations

This article originally appeared on Watchdog.org.

TAXI LOBBY: For years, the taxicab industry has been donating to Virginia politicians and striving to influence policy.

TAXI LOBBY: For years, the taxicab industry has been donating to Virginia politicians and striving to influence policy.

By Kathryn Watson
Watchdog.org, Virginia Bureau

ALEXANDRIA, Va.— As the regulatory war between new ride-share companies and the well-established taxi industry rages on, another lobbying and campaign finance war is happening behind the lines.

The Virginia DMV’s order for Uber and Lyft to cease all operations in the commonwealth is the latest showing of the taxicab industry’s influence in the commonwealth. It isn’t the first time the industry has used its heavy bumpers to persuade Virginia politicians. Continue reading


Public Pays for McAuliffe ‘Photo Opportunity Fund’

This article originally appeared on Watchdog.org.

PAPER BOSS: Jerry Peng, with support from Gov. Terry McAuliffe and other Virginia officials, will head Tranlin Inc.’s new paper plant in Chesterfield County.

PAPER BOSS: Jerry Peng, with support from Gov. Terry McAuliffe and other Virginia officials, will head Tranlin Inc.’s new paper plant in Chesterfield County.

By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau

RICHMOND, Va. — A Chinese paper company’s decision to open a plant in Virginia reflects a larger strategy to bring more of China’s business to the United States.

The prospect of reaping $30 million-plus from Virginia taxpayers — and millions more through a federal immigration program — sweetened the pot for Shandong Tranlin Paper Co., Ltd.

“We are at the beginning of a new chapter in the Chinese economy: the age of outbound private investment,” notes Dan Redford, vice president of investor relations at Civitas Capital Group. Continue reading


Gov. McAuliffe Announces 2,000 New Jobs in Chesterfield County

From the Office of the Governor:

McAuliffe Inauguration 2014

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe
Photo Credit: Dana Carlson, Capital News Service

~Shandong Tranlin Paper Co., Ltd. will invest $2 billion in first U.S. advanced manufacturing operation~

~Project represents largest Chinese greenfield economic development project in U.S. and largest Chinese economic development project in Virginia history~

RICHMOND – Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced today at the Virginia State Capitol that Shandong Tranlin Paper Co., Ltd., a leading Chinese pulp and paper company will invest $2 billion over five years to establish its first U.S. advanced manufacturing operation in Chesterfield County. The investment represents the largest Chinese investment and job creation project in Virginia history and is the largest Chinese greenfield economic development project in the United States. Virginia successfully competed against several other states for the project, which will create 2,000 new jobs by 2020. Continue reading