Some West Virginia law makers are proposing legislation they say will help kick start the state’s economy through redevelopment, but they also say time is running out.
Two bills, one in the House and another in the Senate, would increase the state’s historic rehabilitation tax credit from 10% to 25%. They say the increase would help reduce the number of abandoned properties and spark historic redevelopment throughout West Virginia.
However, both bills must pass their respective Finance Committees by this weekend to have any chance of becoming law.
Some Wheeling area business leaders said Tuesday it’s vital the bills pass in order for development to continue.
Jake Daugherty is the Executive Director of Wheeling Heritage. He said, “It can be a critical tool that will make us competitive with our surrounding States to rehab and revitalize our surrounding buildings throughout the State of West Virginia. It takes building, most of the time vacant buildings and puts productive space back into them. Creates housing units, retail spaces, commercial office spaces.”
Mayor Glenn Elliott stated, “One of the issues is that developers are looking at these buildings and they can’t quite get the funding to work. It’s our belief that if you raise the State Historic Tax Credit from 10 to 25 % allot of the buildings we have downtown will become workable all of a sudden.”
Mayor Elliott said benefits of revitalization also include an increase in property values and jobs.
Anyone who wants to see the bills pass should contact their local legislators.