CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Proposed legislation that would help launch new business got mixed reaction, in the House. The Project Launchpad legislation passed the House last week but not without some critics voicing concerns.

The delegate who introduced the bill, Kanawha County Democrat Doug Skaff, said he can’t comprehend the reasoning for not moving forward with the project which got 70 percent approval last year in the House.

“I can’t understand why they were for creating jobs and attracting businesses to West Virginia in emerging technologies and the future to companies that don’t currently exist here,” but now some are balking stressed Skaff.

House Bill 4343 would give innovative companies, who locate here, in West Virginia, a $1,250 tax credit, for every new, full time job, with benefits that is created, within a launchpad zone. The legislation also gives those companies breaks when it comes to sales taxes, personal income taxes, corporate net and business franchise taxes.

Some members of the House say in a budget year where money is tight, now is not the time to be handing out tax credits to the tune of $90-million. However, Skaff adamantly disagrees.

“A vote ‘no’ on this bill means you’re not for diversifying our economy,” stressed Skaff.

The Kanawha County Delegate said the bill would help every part, of the state, to attract new business. Without it, he said, companies will take their money and jobs to surrounding states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Kentucky where they already have similar launchpad projects.

The bill passed the House with a vote of 85-10. It now moves on to the Senate.

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  • Aaron

    I would be interested in the WV Center for Budget and Policy's stance on this bill.

    • Chris

      Then ask the Unions how they feel about it because the Center for Budget and Policy is a front for them.

  • Fubar

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example, West Virginia sits in spot number 52 out of 53 possible places for creating new jobs in the United States, rankings that also include Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington, D.C.

    By Shauna Johnson
    December 31, 2013

    Another Democrat introducing another "Jobs Bill" with really cool sounding buzz words that might bring in a handful of jobs into certain areas. Do these "launch pad zones" have any connection to current state house politicians and/or their "good ol' boys"?
    I feel that any jobs bills passed at the state level should apply to all businesses, current & future, in all of WV. Let counties & municipalities pass their own "launch pad zones".

  • Cincinnatus

    Someone notify the makers of "Friends of Emerging Technologies And Companies That Don't Currently Exist Here" license plates.

    "Launchpad Zones"? "Future Fund"? Cue the Star Trek theme. Just trying to imagine Skaff and Kessler in a Star Fleet landing party.

    It's not a pretty picture.


    I could not agree more with Tupperware. I have lived in this state for 27 years under complete Democrat control, and instead of even just looking to surrounding successful states that have wonderful businesses that produce great jobs by working with companies to make it easier for them to make a profit, instead they throw B@O taxes on them and won't give them tax credits. It's a sin that our legislature has played it's constituents to only their benfit. Robert Byrd is dead, it's time to do the right thing for the people you serve.

  • Tupperware

    Innovative thinking brings skeptics to their feet! This bill deserves strong consideration. WV needs new business which creates new jobs for the ever dwindling middle class. Great job Del. Skaff!!!