General Assembly endorses Haslam 'Angel Tax Credit', passes commercialization and rural-development measures

Milt Capps

General Assembly endorses Haslam 'Angel Tax Credit', passes commercialization and rural-development measures | Tennessee Technology Development Corporation, TTDC, Launch Tennessee, LaunchTN, LifeScience Tennessee, Gov. Bill Haslam, Randy Boyd, Angel tax credit, investors, rural, SBIR, STTR, matching grants, entrepreneurs, life sciences, research and development, intellectual property,

BOTH Chambers of the Tennessee General Assembly yesterday passed legislation creating an Angel Tax Credit in Tennessee, allowing taxpayers to offset some of their obligations under the Hall Income Tax on unearned income. The votes on HB1536-SB2539 came within the past 24 hours, with unanimous approval in the Senate. Please see our earlier detailed coverage on the legislation, which now goes to Gov. Haslam, who had requested the program backed by his Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd.

ADVOCATE Life Science Tennessee and allies secured passage of legislation to require Launch Tennessee (Tennessee Technology Development Corporation, TTDC) to "establish an applied research and development finance program to provide matching grants to Tennessee's industries and universities to conduct applied research of strategic importance to Tennessee's economy." The legislation represents a mandate, for which no funding has thus far been directly provided in the Governor's budget for FY16-17. One application of any future funding that might materialize could be to provide matching grants to assist entrepreneurs seeking to commercialize intellectual property emanating from state research institutions to pursue federal SBIR-STTR grants. Please see our earlier depth report here.

PREP - House and Senate also approved for submission to Gov. Haslam the Rural Economic Opportunity Act, which establishes the Propelling Rural Economic Progress Fund (P.R.E.P. Fund) to help improve economic development by "local governments or their economic development organizations, other political subdivisions of the state, any subdivision of state government, or to not-for-profit organizations." The legislation could result in roughly $9.5MM in state funds being directed annually toward economic development in the state's most distressed (Tier 3 and 4) counties. Some applicants for grants may also seek franchise and excise tax job tax credits. HB 2570-SB 2538. For context, our earlier rural economic development story.