Virginia makes a move for Northrop Grumman

Monday, April 19, 2010

Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell on Wednesday recommended adding tens of millions of dollars to the state budget to lure companies to the state.

McDonnell, who has made economic development his top priority, is trying to persuade Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman to move its corporate headquarters to Northern Virginia.

His proposed additions include spending nearly $15 million for two companies, SRI and Bank of America, that previously announced they would relocate to the state, for potential new producers of biofuels, and for a fund he can use to help attract companies to Virginia.

McDonnell also proposed retaining a tax break for Virginia manufacturers, a $10 million budget tweak that will please anti-tax activists and potentially spur economic development. The deduction mirrors a federal tax break adopted in 2004. Many states that had conformed their tax codes to follow the federal government's lead have now phased it out, including Maryland.

The General Assembly had proposed reducing the amount that qualifying businesses could deduct from their state taxes. McDonnell said holding the program steady would give Virginia a competitive edge over its neighbors. One company that could benefit is Northrop Grumman, which is weighing whether to move its corporate headquarters from California to Virginia or Maryland.

-- Anita Kumar and Rosalind S. Helderman

Freddie Mac hires former GMAC executive

Freddie Mac, the government-supported mortgage company, hired former GMAC executive Anthony Renzi to fill a new position in which he will oversee efforts to minimize home-loan losses.

Renzi, who spent 24 years at GMAC's mortgage unit, will serve as executive vice president of single-family portfolio management, the McLean-based company said in a statement. He will focus on Freddie Mac's management of its loan servicers and non-performing mortgages among the $1.8 trillion of home loans it guarantees, as well as those it owns.

A record 4.1 percent of Freddie Mac's home loans were at least 90 days late or in foreclosure as of February, up from 2.1 percent a year earlier, according to the company's monthly disclosures.

-- Bloomberg News

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