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.