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VIPER, the motor sports initiative at Virginia International Raceway (VIR), continues to develop into a potent economic engine for Southside Virginia.
VIPER is a joint effort by The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, VIR, Virginia Tech and Old Dominion University. Last Friday, the Chassis Dynamometer was unveiled. This device allows a vehicle to be driven onto a big drum inside a building. The wheels sit on the drum, and the engine is started. As the wheels roll on the drum, the Chassis Dynamometer measures the horsepower that the engine is generating. Virginia’s Tobacco Commission provided funding for the Chassis Dynamometer, which completes the initial vision for VIPER. It joins the Eight-post Rig and the driving simulator, making VIPER a unique motor sports test in North America. VIPER has already attracted several businesses to locate at VIR, and more are expected to join the VIPER family in the future.
The House of Representatives fell one vote shy of endorsing a motion to amend H. R. 5719, the Taxpayer Assistance Simplification Act. The motion died on a tie vote of 210-to-210. I voted for the motion. This amendment directed the Secretary of the Treasury to increase the efforts of the Internal Revenue Service to ensure, to the fullest extent possible, that illegal aliens are not allowed to claim the Earned Income tax Credit (EITC). Under current law, low-income taxpayers can be eligible for the refundable EITC, based primarily upon the number of children in the taxpayer’s family, adjusted gross income and earned income.
Also, the amendment sought to deny the tax-exempt treatment of bonds issued by states or localities that have in effect a policy, either by statute or otherwise, that specifies that employers of such state or locality are not required to notify federal officials of an illegal alien. These localities are often referred to as “sanctuary cities.” When this amendment failed, I voted against the full Taxpayer Assistance and Simplification Act, because of the failure of the amendment and also because the bill significantly increases the cost of Health Savings Accounts for those using them as way to keep down health insurance costs. Also, this bill, as crafted by the House majority, eliminated a successful program that the Internal Revenue Service has used to collect smaller tax-debts, debts that the IRS has said it would not otherwise be cost-effective to try to collect.
Please keep in touch with me on issues that are important to you. You may write Congressman Virgil Goode, 70 East Court Street, Room 215, Rocky Mount, VA 24151; or fax to 1-540-484-1459; or call toll-free to the Danville office, 1-800-535-4008.