CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It’s being billed as a huge development connected to The Greenbrier Resort – one that will reportedly benefit all of West Virginia — but no one is talking publicly about it.

“It is a great announcement and it is something the people of West Virginia deserve,” said Larry Puccio, a lobbyist for The Greenbrier Resort who also serves as chairman of the state Democratic Party.

Puccio, though, would not provide any details about one of three planned Greenbrier Resort projects on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” and neither would House Speaker Tim Miley (D-Harrison, 48).

“It will bring a lot of pride to the state of West Virginia,” said Miley who did allude to the project being tied to an announcement in another state.

“It will be something that will generate revenue for the state of West Virginia, while bringing pride to the state of West Virginia and a general level of heightened excitement.”

On the closing day of the 2014 Regular Legislative Session back on Saturday, lawmakers approved a possible ten year tax credit for the three projects at The Greenbrier Resort.  The bill, which is now waiting on Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s signature, is written specifically for The Greenbrier.

“In this case, the governor wanted to limit it to what might be happening at The Greenbrier so that we can see how it plays out and see if we want to extend it to other businesses,” said Miley.

The Greenbrier credit — a 25 percent tax credit limited to $2.5 million annually for ten years — was amended into a renewal of the West Virginia Tourism Development Act, the tax credit some tourist sites can claim against new sales taxes generated, on the 59th day of the 60 day legislative session.

There is a sunset provision within the bill that would end the credit possibilities, unless extended, on Jan. 1, 2020.

Puccio said, immediately, the Greenbrier tax credit would be used against the corporate net income tax for a planned $90 million medical facility Jim Justice, the owner of The Greenbrier, is planning to open near the resort.  The project was first announced in 2011 and land has already reportedly been cleared for it.

That project is said to be the first of the three Justice has planned for a total investment of $400 million.  As of Tuesday morning, MetroNews could not independently confirm the other two projects.

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Comments

  • jay zoom

    our schools could lose out on millions in funding - but were giving 25 million in tax breaks to a system that only is going to benefit the system and not the average West Virginian. Somethings wrong with this picture.

    • Realist

      You don't even know what the projects are and you are all ready complaining about how they won't benefit anyone. You must be a psycho...sorry I meant psychic...of course either one seems to suffice.

  • wvajoker

    If it is like everything else that has come out of the Legislature in the last ten years, we need to all get out the KY and bend over.

  • Hughesknight

    Thanks that clarifies what I couldn't find elsewhere Very unusual that this credit in this section of code would jump to the corporate net. While it is messy if the medical facility generates $2.5 million in corporate liability annually then there may be some case for it. If the credit goes against some other liability or can be monetized and sold then this is not good public policy.

    • The bookman

      By the way, my reading of the bill and amendment is that this credit is derived directly from this enterprise and must result from the success and progression of this project.

      • Hughesknight

        I agree that the facility creates the investment for the credit but I am not convinced that the credit itself cannot be used against some other larger or other entity's liability. Very unusual piece of legislation with many twists and turns. Nothing would surprise me including the amendments being handwritten. What would be surprising that any or the language was written by the legislative stafford the administrations's staff.

        • Big Bob-E

          Good grief...we're talking about 25 million over ten years...you two act as if this is the biggest tax give away in modern history!!! Let's see...in the time it took me to type this post Jim Justice probably made 25 million...heck...old A.J. Manchin gave away more in "teddy loans" in one day than this deal does in ten years!!! Relax fellows...the State will servive.

          • Big Bob-E

            I understand Hughesknight...I picked A.James as an example of the type of political shenanigan's that has existed in the past in West Virginia. This deal doesn't even come close to the "Teddy Loan" fiasco. I am glad though that you and bookman are well versed on the subject of tax law...it's nice to know that someone is paying attention.

          • Hughesknight

            Big bob I am not sure that A James is the standard of comparison we want here. He almost got impeached, some felt he should have gone to prison, and at least one of his staffers did go. I hope this project doesn't come to that.

          • Big Bob-E

            Well sleep didn't work Bookman...I'm still grumpy!!

          • The bookman

            Hey BBE,

            I'm for it for much of the same reasons you are for it. But if taxpayers have reasonable questions about the bill, why not try to get the answers. Get some sleep and maybe you won't be so grumpy tomorrow.

    • The bookman

      My feeling was the same, in that if that venture was producing a 2.5M per annum credit, then that would equate to a 7.5M payout to the state. Of course that is simplistic, but if he is able to accumulate 25M in credit tax across the ten year, the max, that would be a significant operation, even for high end athletes getting Tommy John surgery. The upside is huge with little risk at all to the state. Couple that with an additional reported 300M+ investment and, well, I can't wait to hear more!

      • Hughesknight

        The credit would be against up to 100% of the liability not a third as you suggest. The credit can begin when the facility is in place or partly in place which would suggest before it starts maxing revenue. The question remains can this credit be used against the umbrella company's liability or sold to a third party that has sufficient liability to max out the credit?

        • The bookman

          Everything I've read on the credit is that it remains tied to enterprise. It appears that the legislature was careful to guard against co-mingling other business and ensure that the credit was assisting the development of this specific new venture. As I read the credit, it is a 25% credit not to exceed 2.5M per year, with carryover accepted from year to year. So a maximum year with no carryover of 10M in net tax due, Justice et al would take the 2.5M credit against the 10M due and remit 7.5M. I wasn't suggesting a third of anything. It is 25% of the tax due on 10M.

          • The bookman

            Hughes,

            Thanks for the clarification. It's still a hefty net income number at that level. I don't see any language anywhere in the bill permitting an assignment of the credit outside of the entity, but I do not see an exclusion either. That's a good question that maybe Hoppy could ask Prezioso. I don't mind the credit on the tax due so long as it remains tied to the success of the new venture, otherwise it's just a give away to compensate for a failed project. That would be insurance, not economic development.

          • Hughesnet

            The 25%is the maximum amount of the investment that can be used for the credit. There is nothing that says that the credit can't offset 100 % of the liability. The 25 % has nothing to do with that.

  • Friendsofcredits

    I have heard the projects are down to 2 out of 3 (1) training camp for the Seattle Seahawks (2) international donkey basketball league (3) world bowling championships

  • Hughes knight

    Hoppy the tourism development act provides for utilizing the sales tax to recover a portion of the company's investment.in a tourism project. He 4184 was amended to remove the cap of $1.5 million in credit for the tourism development credit. As far as I can see there is nothing in that bill that addresses either the medical facility or the credit for the corporate net income tax that the Chairman of the Democratic Party is talking about. These people need to be asked what specific pieces of legislation were changed and were those changes for only one taxpayer. I do not care if P t Barnum is bringing the next Disneyland here. We need to know the facts. All I here is Don't worry it will be all right. There are a 100 % of the people that have dealt with this messiah that would be very leery of any deal.

    • Aaron

      +1

  • Larry

    They were speculating today about it being an NFL Training camp? Call me crazy but that does not sound like a "game changer" to me, an NFL Team yes, but not a few week training camp that would contribute very little to the states economy. I suspect whatever it is may not live up to the hype, unless it's a second even bigger, better cracker.

  • Mason County Contrarian

    You want to bring pride to West Virginia? Try several thousand jobs. That would do nicely.

    Thanks West Virginia Legi$lature for greasing the skids of the patricians.

  • Chris

    Jim Justice has been paying a man to move dirt back and forth on the medical facility site for two years to create the perception that the project is going forward. He is playing the Governor and Democratic Leadership like puppets. Looks like the WV Democratic party is becoming elitist like their Washington counterparts. I am switching my registration to Republican.

    • The bookman

      Why switch. This isn't a partisan action. This is economic development 101. This is how it's done here in WV and everywhere else. Tax incentives in return for the investment of private dollars in your tax district. The uproar is based on the envy people have for wealth. Well this I would hope. I would hope all of the naysayers would be as industrious with this kind of wealth as has Mr. Justice has with his. A 90 to 400 million dollar investment in our economy, none of which the state is financing by this bill, is the gift horse you're kicking in the mouth.

      • Mason County Contrarian

        This whole things reeks. It's a shining example of an economic royalist throwing crumbs of jobs at Joe Middle Class while Joe Middle Class provides the same economic royalist with the means to subsidize their corporate welfare in the form of tax credits.

        Jim Justice is a very big fish in a very small pond. Only in a job-starved state like ours does he seem to many to be a canonized job creator.

        The Devil is in the details.

        • The bookman

          Your opinions seem more populist than contrarian. If you're truly concerned about 11% unemployment in Mason County and 7% unemployment in the WV, you would think you would embrace a job creation mechanism like tax incentive in return for investment. But if you just don't like Big Money interest ever making a profit, then I guess the argument is not worth having.

          • Mason County Contrarian

            You're correct, sir. I just do not and it is not when it hinges on the 99% being bled white by a twenty-first century version of a nineteenth-century robber baron coupled with a culpable Legi$lature.

            The truth is simply another point of view.

      • Aaron

        I would disagree Bookman. My "uproar" has nothing to do with envy, it has to do with transparency. If this "investment" is beneficial to WV, why not introduce it sooner? Sorry but I've read too many horror stories about tax credits creating X amount of jobs only to see them fall through for me to not ask questions. As I said earlier, if it truly is a "gift horse" why not detail what we're getting for our investment?

        • The bookman

          Because that's not how business works. If this is truly a 400 million dollar deal, it's not just Justice. It's a consortium of investors. And they don't publicize anything until they are ready, usually bound legally. This was the case with the cracker negotiations in PA and more recently in Parkersburg. These things are always shrouded in secret, like it or not. Calling on Justice and Tomblin to tip their hand and jeopardize the investment? I think not.

          • Aaron

            It's not Jim Justice that I don't trust, it those who just wrapped up the session in Charleston.

          • The bookman

            Aaron,

            Unless of course there was a valid reason as to why things transpired as they did. The sunlight is certainly shining on them now, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out. I can't see the state losing a dime, but I'm not cynical in regards to the intentions of Jim Justice types. That doesn't make me right or you wrong, just different perspectives watching the same event.

          • Aaron

            I understand how business works. I also how transparency works. This is not it.

            You cite the cracker in PA and the one in Parkersburg but neither were secrets. It was common knowledge that the state was negotiating with various sources to place a cracker in WV and that the entities WV was negotiating against, were also negotiating with both OH and PA.

            This was nothing like that. The bill referenced was introduced as a bill to "all relating to the West Virginia Tourism Development Act; removing termination provisions; removing requirement for engagement of a consulting firm to review proposed projects; increasing the limitation on the total amount of tourism development expansion project tax credits for all approved companies each calendar year; and providing for increased tax credit amounts for projects located on state and federal recreational property."

            After the bill passed and went through various committee's it got to finance where "The Committee on Finance moved to amend the bill by striking out everything after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:"

            From there, the bill amends 7 sections of code into one, all relating to (as best I can find) tourism.

            That's all well and good except everything regarding the facility discussed is a "medical facility."

            While I'm sure Mr. Justice can some relate a medical facility to tourism, a few things bother me.

            First, this is not something that just came up. A bill was introduced under a vague heading that was clearly intended to benefit Jim Justice, was worked by our representatives and then 2 days before the session ended, a completely different bill was proposed and passed with no public discussion.

            That's not business. That's how West Virginia politicians have been doing it for about 90 years. I'm sorry but I don't think that's the way we should be doing business.

            If the credit is legitimate as I suspect it is, there is no reason Mr. Justice and his representative could not have brought it forth and discussed it in the light of day instead of ramming it through the legislature under a veil of darkness.

          • The bookman

            Hughes

            §5B-2E-7b. Credit against taxes.

            (c) Credit against taxes. – The credit allowed by this section shall be equal to twenty-five percent of the eligible company's qualified investment in the qualified professional services destination facility and shall be taken and applied as provided in this subsection (c). Notwithstanding any other provision of this article to the contrary, no taxpayer or group of taxpayers may gain entitlement to more than $37.5 million total aggregate tax credit under this section and no taxpayer, or group of taxpayers, in the aggregate may apply more than $2.5 million of annual credit in any tax year under this section, either in the form of a refund or directly against a tax liability or in any combination thereof. This limitation applies to initial tax credit attributable to qualified investment in a qualified professional services destination facility, and to qualified investment in a follow-up project expansion, so that credit attributable additively and in the aggregate to both may not be applied to exceed $2.5 million annual credit in any tax year.
            (1) Application of credit. – The amount of credit allowable under this subsection shall be taken over a ten-year period, at the rate of one tenth of the amount thereof per taxable year, beginning with the taxable year in which the eligible company places the qualified professional services destination facility, or part thereof, in service or use in this state, unless the eligible company elected to delay the beginning of the ten-year period until the next succeeding taxable year. This election shall be made in the annual income tax return filed under chapter eleven of this code for the taxable year in which the qualified professional services destination facility is first placed into service or use by the taxpayer. Once made, the election may not be revoked. The annual credit allowance is taken in the manner prescribed in subdivision (3) of this subsection (c): Provided, That if any credit remains after the initial ten year credit application period, the amount of remaining credit is carried forward to each ensuing tax year until used or until the expiration of the fifth taxable year subsequent to the end of the initial ten year credit application period. If any unused credit remains after expiration of the fifth taxable year subsequent to the end of the initial ten year credit application period, the amount thereof is forfeited. No carryback to a prior taxable year is allowed for the amount of any unused portion of any annual credit allowance.

            This is the section that I feel applies as it discusses the tax return filed as determining the credit and therefore tax due. Sorry for the length but it was easier to copy it for you, but it is interior to the amendment.

          • Hughesknight

            Thanks bookman this version shows clearly the tailored credit referred to in the article puts the language for the medical facility in and mentions the $2.5 million annual credit max. It also mentions credit goes from 25 to 35 % for a project located close to a state forest. Kate's Mountain abuts Greenbrier State forest. So I guess this is the connection. The one thing that remains unclear is that the tax credit in this part of the code is against the sales tax and not the corporate net income and I don't believe that the sales tax is imposed on medical facilities. It still doesn't make sense what is the authorization for a corporate net credit.

          • The bookman

            Hughes

            http://www.legis.state.wv.us/legisdocs/chamber/2014/RS/com_amends/HB4184%20S%20FIN%20AM%20_1adopted.htm

            This is the specific tab taking you to the amendment from Finance. Hope that helps.

          • Hughesknight

            I have done this time and time again. I find no amendments that pertain to corporate tax credits for the medical facility or any mention of $2.5 annual credits for ten years. I would appreciate if you have it the bill numbers that are Final with this language in there. Hb 4184 does not.

          • The bookman

            http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Status/bills_history.cfm?year=2014&sessiontype=RS&input=4184

            Scroll to committee amendments to view the specific amendments related to the Greenbrier tax credits.

          • The bookman

            Hughes,

            I will try to find the bill and post it, as I read the house version dated January 15th and the one with the senate changes following the first story on metronews. It's out there.

          • Hughes knight

            I respect the confidentiality of the projects. On the other hand the specific pieces of legislation that were changes and what are the implications of those changes are not confidential. I have also seen a lot of tax credits and I have never seen a tax credit up front that provides specific amounts of credit to a single tax payer. Not questioning the project. Questioning the transparency of the legislative process.

    • Big Bob-E

      That'll show'em....

  • joeyjojo

    Only in WV can the head of the states democratic party be a paid lobbiest for the states richest man and get a blind faith 25 million dollar tax give away on the 59th day of a 60 day session.

  • Big Bob-E

    This summer when I was sitting in a field in the middle no-where West Virginia watching the legendary band Aerosmith play in concert I realized the impact a man like Jim Justice can have in this state. I believe the 25 million dollar investment this state made in Jim Justice's projects is truly a gamble worth taking. Jim Justice had a big 4th of July party and we were all invited...how freaking cool is that!!!!

    • Sure

      Sure ANYONE is invited with a $140 ticket or more if you scalp...genius

      • Big Bob-E

        You don't get it do you...genius? If not for Jim Justice you're traveling hundreds of miles out of state for the same experience. And...genius... that $140.00 for a ticket goes with you.

  • Tim walters

    Yea lets give the richest mam in Wv a break.the 2.5 mil
    Could fill a lot of pot holes.Oh wait you won't find many potholes on Justiceville.The rich just keep getting richer. I sure hope the new projects our for more rich outsiders.

    • Jrizzle

      This type of thinking is what has WV in the bottom ranks of most categories states are ranked in. Worried about potholes, but not jobs. A tax break in a situation that provides numerous jobs is a huge benefit. If we give the corporate incentive for jobs and have hundreds of people making taxable incomes and spending money that they don't have now, it INCREASES the tax base. It's a snowball effect. I just can't believe that state democrats are supporting. They typically don't understand business-friendly tax structures.... To eveyone who supported this, thank you. WV needs more if this activity.

      • Aaron

        If that's the case then fine. But if that's the case, then why not go the route of transparency and tell us how many jobs this tax break is going to create?

        Sorry drizzle but coming to the session 2 days before the session ends and tying this to a bill that was vaguely introduced almost 2 months ago smells fishy to me.

        Seems to me that is the tax break was as beneficial as some claim, it would have been discussed weeks ago. Why do you suppose they didn't?

        • The bookman

          The bill didn't pass the house until Feb 26. I believe they realized late in the game the sales tax issue was a problem, necessitating the change in the bill to credit against the corporate net instead due to the fee collections in health care not collecting sales tax. That is conjecture, of course, but I can't believe if they were trying to slip something through they would engage all of the attention by waiting until the last minute. I am curious as to his ultimate plans, but not knowing doesn't change my support for it. And here is why. The investment is wholly his investment. No state dollars. We only give the credit against the tax due, which requires net income. There is no way for the state to lose, except or unless we discourage the investment.

  • Rich

    Pig, meet poke.
    I wonder if I can go to the Legislature and say, hey I didn't pay counties the taxes they were due when I was in the coal business, I haven't paid some vendors from my golf tournament, but will you give me some tax credits for a really neat project that I can't tell you about?

  • ffejbboc

    I hope it is a convention / civic center. This area could really use something like that. Concerts, trade shows, hosting state high school sports tournaments, WVSOM graduation, and other big events in the Greenbrier Valley.

  • Aaron

    I would hope that in a show of transparency, before signing the bill Governor Tomlin would request and release an analysis of the fruits born from this tax cut to ensure West Virginia tax payers that they are not funding construction for Jim Justice.

    • Retired Teacher

      Woah, Aaron, You have to back up. The rich don't answer to anyone for their construction "grants." Accept what they say, after all billionaires don't lie, we just aren't smart enough to understand what they say.

      Though, Seriously--if we were told, I suspect people would be outraged.

      I'm outraged that the legislature gives tax breaks such as this without details or requirements be met to receive.

      • Randy

        Ask some of the contractors or business's that deal with JIM JUSTICE just how hard it is to get paid for what they have done. If they get paid at all.

        • Retired Teacher

          Randy-

          I can't say if what you allege is true, but it does go back to the fact that billionaires and millionaires are above paying their bills, whether tax, construction, or personal.

          I get so angry each time I read someone post about 100 years of democratic rule. First, our democrats are borderline tea party republicans, and second, I feel certain that I'm correct when I say the majority of West Virginians would benefit from a return to the taxation policies of FDR versus those of Reagan.

    • Big Bob-E

      Aaron...Jim Justice doesn't need West Virginia...but West Virginia does need Jim Justice. Just say'n...

      • Aaron

        So what, we should bow down to him or something and be appreciative for what he's doing in White Sulphur Springs?

        Sorry Bob, I don't think so. If the project warrants a tax break, I'm all for it but if this is nothing more than a method to finance his construction then I say the citizens of WV don't need it.

        After all, we've spent about a hundred years of catering to that mentality and look where that's got us.

        • Big Bob-E

          Well Aaron...we're talking about 2.5 million per year in tax breaks...not 25 million in cash up front...he'll have too actually spend his own money to utilize this tax incentive. Seems to me we'll know in a few short years if Jim Justice's projects will meet your litmus test. Look at the big picture...don't focus on the narrow view my friend.

      • Marion

        No WE don't ! Speaking on behalf of most TRUE West Virginians !

        • Big Bob-E

          And...that my folks is why you "TRUE West Virginian's" are ranked last in every category that matters.