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House Bill 4343 provides economic benefits for businesses working with technologies not currently in West Virginia if they locate or expand in launch pads areas in the state.
These benefits would begin on January 1, 2015 and last until December 30, 2030 and include state and local tax relief and assistance in moving a business here.
The governor would be authorized to select no more that 10 launch pads and applications to become a launch pad are available to every county.
Some delegates feared that the Act would pit the state against itself while others were unsure of the proposed benefits.
The lead sponsor of the Launch Pad Act, Delegate Doug Skaff said that West Virginia as a whole could benefit and take the competition outward to states with similar policies enacted.
“We are going to create launch pad areas unique to our state that will increase our economic development opportunities for people who want to expand,” Skaff said. “If you’re an existing business and you want to take a chance, try something new and locate your expansion here rather than across the border over into Maryland or across into Ohio, we’re going to help you do it.”
The bill passed by a vote of 85-10 and moves on to the Senate for consideration.