CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Greenbrier Resort owner Jim Justice hopes state lawmakers award him a tax credit for three projects he’s planning adjacent to his historic resort in Greenbrier County.

The proposal (HB4184) went before members of the state Senate Finance Committee for the first time Friday evening, the next-to-last day of the 60-day legislative session.

The first of Justice’s projects—a state-of-the-art outpatient medical facility—was originally announced in August 2011 and is apparently ready for construction, but current state law would not provide a tax break on the facility until it is operational.

The plan provides a 25-percent credit against the “corporate net income tax,” that would be credited over 10 years and limited to $2.5 million annually. The other two projects would be eligible for tax breaks under the West Virginia Tourism Development Act, which would be revived under the proposed bill.

Lobbyist Larry Puccio, who represents Justice, told the committee the medical clinic will be a $90 million project “that will bring money in from many different countries and many different states.”

As Justice previously announced, world-renowned Dr. James Andrews and associates will be working at the clinic three-days a week. Puccio told the committee the 40-acre site near the Greenbrier has been readied for construction in recent months and the Certificate of Need required from the state Health Care Authority should be granted by the end of the year.

Puccio said the other two projects Justice is planning are significant, though thy have yet to be announced publicly. He said all three projects would result in a $400 million investment.

Sen. Clark Barnes (R-Randolph) questioned the timing of the tax credit proposal.

“Why at this point do you need to come back and get tax credits for Mr. Justice?” Barnes said. “I’ve been in business a long time and I know when I plan a business, when I plan an office, I plan to pay for it myself. I don’t come to the state and ask for tax credits.

“I wouldn’t even think about it after the project is about done. What is the reason at this point that Mr. Justice should be getting tax credits for a project that he has already planned for a long time and already begun?”

Puccio said Justice thought all three projects would be eligible for tax breaks under the Tourism Development Act. However, because a medical facility doesn’t produce revenues from sales tax, the medical facility would not be eligible. That’s why they are seeking the legislation.

Finance committee members passed the bill. The legislation will be up for final reading Saturday morning in the Senate.

The Tomblin administration supports the bill, according to Deputy Chief of Staff Jason Pizatella, whol told the committee the administration insisted the proposed credit be narrowly crafted only allowing the Greenbrier to be eligible.

 

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Comments

  • fed up

    I guarantee that this will not create local jobs, Justice will do his thing and get people from out of the state, wait and see. He is known for not paying his bills, wait till he stiffs a few out of state contractors.

  • bh

    Build it Jim and they will come (tax breaks) reminds me of a movie I seen.Yes build it Jim and then we will take care of you

  • highroller

    Last year Justice's boys effectively shut down a casino in Pendleton County which would employ countless folks in the eastern panhandle. Now he wants tax breaks under the guise of creating jobs! Un freaking believable.

  • Grow Business in Greenbrier County

    Jobs will be created by these construction related and ongoing business projects for locals, tax income from increased business revenues may offset some of the tax credits.. creating good paying jobs in the medical field for the entry level employees brings higher aspirations, boost to local economy.... so look at the glass half full, to half empty.. Jim is a businessman and has motives but doesn't wall street as well.. everyone should benefit from these projects.. Get your head out of the sand and support growth and giving tax credits for building business enterprises... this is done everywhere in the US... This medical facility will enhance the State reputation as growing enterprise zone and put the State on the right course for attracting more business.. I would like to see a education program for local students to get interns at the medical facility as a condition of the tax credits.

    • Hillbilly

      And who is going to come see this "world famous" doctor? Certainly nobody in this state will be able to afford him, even with ObamaCare.

      • wv nurse

        Well, it will mostly be famous sports players. Way to expensive for West Virginians.

  • WVU fan in Boston

    I have to agree with the Tax break. Jim is bringing in jobs to this part of the state. More jobs more dollars spent locally, more jobs and more potential for a new businesses.
    Lewisburg Airport becomes more viable for airlines, more of a destination point for tourism.
    With the PGA tour, he has advertised this part of WV for the past two years, that alone should warrant his request for tax break for these developments.

  • Mason County Contrarian

    The rich....they are different.

    It's a done deal, Jim. We have the best Legi$lature and legi$lators money can buy.

  • Rich

    Yeah, let's give a tax break to a guy who didn't pay his taxes or bills as a coal operator, and who hasn't paid some contractors and vendors from the Greenbrier Classic (while accepting over $1Million from the state).

  • Linda A

    Give him the tax break he needs the money so bad just make sure he pays the contractors that work on the projects

  • I'm honest at least

    I would like to build a mud pie in my yard wonder if I can get a tax break......total B.S.

  • i know

    it is true, if your kid can play ball you have a job. Jim does a lot for the kids, but a little slim shady going on behind the scenes

  • stophating

    So 1/16 of the project will be financed by the public in the form of tax breaks...... This billionaire must have a rough life, my good heavens just cut the poor guy a check for 25 million upfront.... He really needs the money, I don't see how the state could better spend 25 million, oh wait---maybe give pay raises to state employees......

    Who actually costs the state more--the single mother on welfare or this billionaire.....

    • The bookman

      Is the analogy of the single mother and the billionaire really something you stand by, or is that just an angry submission having no basis in logic?

      I can be certain that Mr Justice is a net payer to state coffers. But his impact is much broader to the local and state economies in which he operates businesses, in that he also provides employment opportunities to individuals allowing them to also be net tax payers to our state. In fact , some may be single mothers who would otherwise find themselves receiving public assistance without the job his enterprise provides.

      As to the bill, a caveat interior to the bill stipulates that tax credits can not exceed the revenues returned to the state resulting directly from the project. The bill was introduced in the House on January 15th and passed the full house on February 26th by a 97-0 vote. Justice is rich! Sadly, that makes him a target for the disdain of people like you who practice the art of class warfare to perfection. He's rich because he has vision, works tirelessly to build successful businesses, and is grounded in the belief that he can make a difference. I don't like the last minute deals or lobbyist Larry Puccio carrying the message. But as I said before in another post, I believe Justice deserves the benefit of the doubt. He's earned it.

      • stophating

        It's not class warfare---it's a return to tax policies that built this country between 1945-1980. This was a time of sustained, real growth.

        We now have a country with crumbling infrastructure, because the rich refuse to pay their share, and Congress and state legislatures allow it to continue.

        • Pickle Barrel

          The rich refuse to pay their share? What exactly should that share be as a percentage of their income?

        • The bookman

          The first half of that 35 year period you discuss was a post war boom that saw the perfect storm for our golden age. A young and burgeoning population full of consumption and a will to succeed. Opportunity was everywhere. The last half of that period can only be characterized by the disintegration of the first half, brought on by the induction of the Great Society and ending with Carter's Great Malaise. So I'm not sure where you were, but I certainly remember it. I also remember this country retooling under Reagan and at least begin to instill the principles that gave us the first boom in the 50's and early 60's. The principles of self determination, an individual's ability to succeed in a dynamic economy, and one that understands success requires failure are necessary ingredients in successful capitalist societies. Following Reagan we lost our way, and moved away from those principles, and now find ourselves unable to accept the concept if winning and losing. If you take away the spoils of victory so that you can spread those spoils to the masses, those who strive for victory will stop risking their resources in their efforts. And those who enjoy the spoils of the victor's efforts will not enjoin the chase to achieve victory as they get to enjoy the spoils without participating. Eventually all the resources retreat to the sideline as their is no longer any return to risk the asset.

          That is where we find ourselves. Your analogy of the single mother vs Jim Justice is classic class division, and is foolish diatribe even from you. I don't like the late push for the change in tax credit structure to include the project, but the bill has been on the table since January 15th and the Senate has had it since February 26th. I'm glad they managed to get it done.

    • WVFAN

      If your son or daughter can excel at basketball Mr Justice will give you a job at the Greenbrier if they pjsy for East

  • The bookman

    On the surface, I have to say I don't like the last minute theatrics. But it is important to consider the net gain of a $400M investment into the Greenbrier Valley. Jim Justice has been nothing short of Midas himself in resurrecting what could have been a devastating economic blow to Lewisburg and surrounding southeastern WV. He's earned the benefit of the doubt in my opinion.

    • Wirerowe

      Bookman on surface looks okay not sure that it will meet the smell test on deeper detail in a couple of very tough budget years.

  • RogerD

    Looks like the good ole' boys taking care of the good ole' boys. This is reminiscent of how the U.S. Congress rammed through the Stimulus Package, Obamacare, and some of the other major disasters passed on to the citizens. They figure on a higher chance of success if they can speed it through before anyone has a chance to take a good look at it.

    • Fed Up

      Geez, more political cronies of Tomblin. If they pass for Justice, it should be passed for all as well. This is total BS!!