Local license tax and state contractor's license; certificate of workers' compensation compliance. (HB253)

Introduced By

Del. Randy Minchew (R-Leesburg)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Local license tax and state contractor's license; certificate of workers' compensation compliance. Removes the requirement that contractors verify workers' compensation compliance before receiving a local license to do business and makes such requirement a condition of receiving a state contractor's license. Read the Bill »


02/09/2016: Failed to Pass in Committee


12/30/2015Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/16 16102656D
12/30/2015Referred to Committee on General Laws
01/13/2016Impact statement from DPB (HB253)
01/18/2016Assigned to sub: Subcommittee #4
01/18/2016Assigned GL sub: Subcommittee #4
02/04/2016Subcommittee recommends continuing to 2017
02/09/2016Continued to 2017 in General Laws


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 46 seconds.


Jane Q. Doe writes:

What these elected officials need to do is look into how the VWC is doing when rewriting the laws. How can you force companies who hire legal licensed insured sub contractors, and redefine them as employees if the :

IRS Does not.

VA. Department of taxation does not.

DPOR Does not in that they too, the sub contractors are required a contractors license, liability and workmans comp.

VEC Does not recognize a sub contractor to be employees but separate companies.

Over the years it appears that the VWC has taken it upon their own to change the laws. It use to be for many many years that if you were a one or two person company, corporate officers, or management, you were exempt from Workman's Comp. It was required of course that your sub contractors carried it as the GC had to carry liable at a min. Then what I call dual jeopardy or duress on both contractor and independent sub contractors or companies having to pay double the price for double coverage on the same workers. I don't find that economical fairness or that of a government that is suppose to secure a level playing field when it does not. I also find this morally wrong. In this present economic situation it is over-burdensome on licensed contractors and licensed independent contractors. Why? Because there are many one or two man/women companies where the owner procures the work for the independent subs to perform. Like I state earlier, it appears that the VWC has rewritten the law or laws to their own liking. The last time I read the law it mentioned no where that sub contractors were employees. It basically said that if you had one to two employees who were executives and did not perform the work that company was not required to have workmans's comp, only their independent sub contractors.

If you wanted to help the good contractors who are literally struggling to stay in business how about enforcing your laws already on the books? Why not go after these non licensed contractors? Why not go after insurance companies that give them insurance without state license requirements? Why don't you go after real estate agents and brokers who not only use non licensed contractors but refer them too. Why don't you go after businesses that hire illegal citizens? Why don't you go after those wholesalers and manufacture that sales to non licensed companies? Why don't you start enforcing your laws by using sting operation? Why not empower our state investigators with the power to arrest as they had many many years ago. Why do you keep putting more and more regulation on the legal contractors to the point that it is easier to compete without a license? When do you people realize that with an already bad economy, rampant illegal activities per non licensed contractors, you are all making it harder to compete while legislating many of us right out of business? It is getting to the point of why bother? And those in DPOR, they only care about their 2 week check when protecting their own interest rather than ours when taxing us.

Then you talk about safety issues but, what of the consumer whose having work done in their homes, town homes, and condo's without a permit? You are so quick to put more regulations upon us per the name of safety but how many jobs are being done without that safety net called permits? And again, you are more about putting more regulation upon than making our industry healthy. There are already good companies being replaced by bad people and no one seems to care.

I am a one man (business) general contractor with over 20 years in business. I 100% sub my work out to other legally licensed and insured companies. Why should I have to pay for their employees workman's comp when they are already covered? I already pay per their contracts and the overhead already included and you want those like myself pay more? I have never had an accident. I have completed every contract and collected every red cent. I have also pulled every permit that was and has been required. You are basically saying you don't care about the small operators like myself. Due to the added regulations and lack of enforcement what more can I give you? After all these decades of doing what I have done best, what do you suppose I should do now to make a living? And tell me, how much more of the consumer can you burden too? They too have to pay for this while they too are struggling to feed their families and pay their mortgages?

I should not have to pay for workman's comp when I never had to before per the way the law read. It did not say to include independent companies or contractors when giving the exemptions. It was never interpreted that way before and should not be now. It is wrong to call sub contractors, legitimate companies as being a employee of a contractor when no other governmental agency does. It is wrong to make two companies pay for the same insurance twice for those who are working. This is not about the safety of workers but redefining what a sub contractor is when going against the legal definition of federal law per the IRS and banking more money for the insurance industry. Where does it stop? There is a clear definition as to what a contractor is vs a sub contractor is and this is the only agency that wants to eradicate that legal definition. In all honesty, maybe Virginia should be sued for not enforcing their laws while trying to put illegal laws or regulations upon us.

One last thing, DPOR should stop blaming the crooks from stealing from the consumer and vendors per one of their investigations of a licensed contractor. If they had vetted the person or company that crook would not have been given a license to steal. We have a paper tiger when it comes to DPOR. Illegal contractors know this while laughing about their no enforcement rule. No, like many of our government agencies they believe that the crime must be first committed before ever thinking or doing anything that would deter the crime to begin with. By that time, the person or criminal is long gone. This state in their benevolent lack of wisdom believes it is better to suck more of our hard earned money than to ever take pro active measures to protect the license contractor and the consumers alike. You know, crooks never pull permits.

I see many services like Angies list, Thumbtack and Homea Advisor who put up illegal companies without any disclosure or disclaimers when it comes to educating the public. I see many many illegal contractors on Craiglist hocking their illegal services without care. I never see anything done to these people while their ranks grow bigger and companies like myself are diminished to the point of no return. It use to mean something carrying a contractors license but no any more.

And by the way, many people get a landscape license to get around your requirement of showing a state license when it comes to a business license. Here is a thought; rein in the illegal definition of VWC, allows companies like mine to continue, enforce our laws and let those of us get back to work making a living trying to support ourselves and our families.

And by the way, I am all for the safety of the worker and the consumer but not to the point that an overzealous bureaucracy is redefining the laws to suit them. It is true that government neither creates jobs or wealth. It just destroys them both. Again, another bad deal for Virginian's struggling businesses and consumers. I guess the EPA lead requirements were not enough after an economic collapse in the housing market. When does DPOR and our legislators fight for those like myself? VCW or Virginia in my opinion have the legal right under state and federal law to redefine what is a legal independent contractor or their employees which is a separate entity altogether from the general contractor. And last but not least, DPOR and its career bureaucrats are totally inept and inefficient when it comes to regulating our industry. It is getting to the point that not having a license is less risk than having one at all. And think about this one, if a company has only one or two employees but uses sub contractors who must count their employees, doesn't the exemption seems pretty non existent per the way VWC defines or reinvents the law now? What is the point of having it? And isn't it odd that if you are a one man handyman who does the actual work you are exempt but not the managers or officers who does no labor at all? All I am asking is to allow people like myself, one man/women employers some relief and not run us out of business. I don't think any of you would would want to pay twice for the job. Well, I don't want to and think I should to per law. My sub contractors who are legitimate employees themselves are not my employees. If federal and Virginia agencies say the same so should our legislators and those at VWC.
Please excuse any grammatical mistakes I have made.
Thank you.