WV Delegate to propose bill incentivizing manufacturing relocation to West Virginia from China

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2019, file photo, delegates debate a bill in the House of Delegates chamber at the Capitol in Charleston, W.Va. The West Virginia House of Delegates has passed an admittedly flat budget that funds an intellectual disability treatment program as well as a second mentorship school for at-risk teens. Delegates voted 95-5 Wednesday, March 4, 2020, to approve the budget after more than three hours of debate. (Craig Hudson/Charleston Gazette-Mail via AP, File)

POCA, WV (WOAY) – Delegate Joshua Higginbotham, R-Putnam, today announced he is working to draft a bill to be introduced in the next legislative session that would provide incentives to manufacturers to relocate operations to West Virginia from Communist China due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Delegate Higginbotham’s proposal would build upon the historic Opportunity Zone law he sponsored and the Legislature passed in 2019, which followed President Trump’s federal program.

The new proposal would expand the state program to cover all 55 West Virginia counties. Once passed, it would provide 0-percent corporate income taxes and 0-percent personal income taxes the first 10 years for any and all companies that decide to relocate operations to West Virginia from China.

“Due to the ongoing crisis, it’s very critical for us to put America first now more than ever,” Delegate Higginbotham said. “In this case, I want to make sure we’re putting West Virginia and our workers first.”

With hundreds of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state and unemployment claims skyrocketing, Delegate Higginbotham said an economic comeback is needed.

“Manufacturing is a vital part of my district,” he said. “The aluminum plant in Ravenswood, the Toyota facility in Buffalo, and dozens of smaller companies provide honest work for my constituents. I’m working to bring good-paying jobs back to West Virginia. China has been taking advantage of American workers for too long, and we’re trying to put a stop to it.”

Delegate Joshua Higginbotham is the current Vice-Chairman of the House Education Committee and is the former Chairman of the Economic Development Committee.

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