Halifax County IDA board members gather for their final meeting of 2019 on Friday at the Southern Virginia Technology Park on Philpott Road in South Boston.

Members of the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority, with board member Ryland Clark and Halifax County Administrator Scott Simpson absent, voted Friday during their regular monthly meeting to adopt a resolution adding developer incentives to the Halifax Opportunity Program that county supervisors and the IDA board had previously adopted.

Executive Director Brian Brown explained it allows the IDA to work more closely with developers in efforts toward bringing residential housing to the area.

Supervisors earlier had adopted the Halifax Opportunity Program, which makes grants available to qualified developers equaling one-half of real estate taxes collected by the county over a 10-year period on certain multi-unit, speculative and market-rate residential developments meeting certain criteria.

According to a developer incentive package added to the Halifax Opportunity Program adopted by IDA board members on Friday, multi-unit, speculative and market-rate residential developments can access the Halifax Opportunity Program based on the following:

w The development must be permitted and approved for construction by all agencies and authorities having jurisdiction;

w The development must have a minimum of three units, on separately deeded and adjacent lots, with single-family residences, to be offered at market rate for sale or lease, each with a minimum tax-assessed value of $150,000, and for which no other public assistance is available;

w The development  must include  the  expansion or extension  of public  infrastructure including, but not necessarily limited to, publicly or homeowner’s association maintained roads with approved storm water structures and devices such as curb and gutter, inlets, public potable water distribution system, public sanitary sewer collection system and telecommunications; and

w The developer must apply for and receive approval for the Halifax Opportunity Program grants, and developer must execute a grant agreement with Halifax IDA prior to beginning home construction.

After all of these conditions are met, according to the resolution, and as each unit is added to the county’s tax roll, and payment of real property taxes are received by the county (as verified by the treasurer), the developer will receive from the Halifax County IDA grants for each qualifying new unit as described above for 10 years in the amount of 50% of the real estate tax paid for each new unit.

The board of supervisors, in March 2024 and every five years thereafter reserves the right to re-evaluate the program. 

To be eligible, the grant recipient cannot be delinquent on fees or taxes owed to Halifax County, the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority or the Halifax County Service Authority.

The resolution takes effect immediately.

In other board business, Brown presented details of Gov. Ralph Northam’s biennial budget he thinks will help business development including an additional $2 million in funding for the Virginia Business Ready Sites Program in FY21 and an additional $3 million in FY22. The proposed budget also includes an additional $2 million each year in increased funding for the Virginia Jobs Investment Program in addition to funding of $4.67 million for the Custom Workforce Incentive Program om FY22.

Also proposed is an additional $16 million each year for the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) (broadband) to $35 million in each year, funding of $19.75 million in FY 2021 and funding of $19.75 million in FY 2022 for the Commonwealth Development Opportunity Fund, and funding of $31.8M in FY21 and $31.8M in FY22 for the Tech Talent Investment Fund.

Brown also told board members a Virginia Enterprise Zone how-to-qualify workshop is scheduled for Southern Plenty restaurant in South Boston on Jan. 7, one of five workshops scheduled in the 2019 grant year.

Doug Ford reports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at

Doug Ford covers news and sports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at