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.