Legislation Threatens Alarm Business in Virginia
February 3, 2009
The National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association is seeking help from those who live or conduct business in Virginia.
The National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association this morning released the following message to the security industry at large:
In the event that you are not aware of what is currently happening in the 2009 session of the Virginia General Assembly, you need to know that two bills designed to turn monitored security and fire systems into a service to be taxed per account, per month is currently being considered and may be passed as early as tomorrow.
These bills will affect those of you doing business in Virgina. Whether you live in Virginia or not, if passed, you will be liable for these fees if you have accounts there.
If either of these bills pass in Virginia, we fear they will be introduced across the country, which will impact the entire industry. In the past, the supporters of these bills have sought funds to pay for them from DUI drivers and other sources -- our industry is just the most recent target.
These bills are:
Senate Bill 1006 - creates a monitoring tax of $2.50 per month, per account, paid by you, the alarm dealer, whether you collect it or not from the end user. This bill goes to the Senate Finance Committee tomorrow. This is the same committee that overwhelmingly passed it last year. The full Senate will consider it before they adjourn in March.
House Bill 1997 - creates a monitoring tax of $1.00 per month, per account, paid by you, the alarm dealer, whether you collect it or not from the end user. This bill is being considered in the House of Delegates Appropriations Committee.
Both bills are located on the NBFAA Web site at www.alarm.org. Click Members, then click Government Relations.
We need immediate action from you!
We need full opposition NOW. Supporters of these bills have inundated legislators with their lobbying efforts and are all over Richmond voicing their support. We need to provide an opposing viewpoint.
If you live in Virginia, call the General Assembly NOW and vote. During business hours, call the Constituent Viewpoint Opinion Line at 804-698-1990 or 800-889-0229 and a general assembly staff member will record your vote by bill number and forward the information to your representatives. If you have employees or subcontractors with whom you work, share this information and encourage them to call.
If you do business or live in Virginia, visit, telephone, fax, e-mail or text the members of the Virginia State Senate and House of Delegates who represent where you live, where your business is located, or for whom you are the security services provider and communicate your displeasure with turning an industry of mostly small businesses into tax collectors. Links are listed below.
- The bill is a "tax" on businesses and customers in the state.
- The fees originally envisioned covering just firefighters but has now increased to other state and local employees, increasing the bill's cost to the industry.
- There is no limit to the fees proposed -- in just one month since introduction, fees in the bill to monitoring companies have jumped from $1.00 to $2.50 and they are now considering broadening this legislation to local employees.
- The legislation was not reported in 2008 despite passage in the State Senate.
- The state has no idea how many customers nor businesses will be impacted to pay for the benefits.
- It's unfair to single out one industry.
The following are important links for contacting the Virginia legislature:
If you are a resident of Virginia, you may follow this link to find your specific Representative and/or Senator: http://conview.state.va.us/whosmy.nsf/main?openform
For those out of state, the following is a link to the House of Delegates and Senate member roster. You may click on each members name for further information:
Link to Committee Pages: http://legis.state.va.us/1_cit_guide/committees.html
Link to House Appropriations Committee: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?091+com+H02
Link to Senate Finance Committee: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?091+com+S05
John D. Kochensparger, VBFAA President
Michael A. Miller, NBFAA President