WV Build Act Presents Opportunity to Build New Housing in Pocahontas County
On February 6th, Meghan Smith of the WV Department of Economic Development (WVDED) conducted an informational briefing about how local developers and contractors who build housing in the county can benefit from the tax benefits offered under the WV Build Act. The presentation was held at the Wellness Center in Marlinton, and was attended by Krislyn Holden, also from the Department of Economic Development; Marlinton Mayor Sam Felton, Ruthana Beezley of the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation; Amanda Smarr of Region 4; Chelsea Faulknier, the Executive Director of the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau; Lauren Bennett of Parks and Recreation, as well as Robert Safrit and Daniel McKee, partners and owners of Revitalize Marlinton, LLC, a development company working on building multiple projects in Marlinton and nearby county areas.
Build WV is a component of WV’s economic development plan, and is designed to provide tax incentives for developers to build reasonably priced middle-class housing for workers. Smith said much of Pocahontas County lies within a certified Build WV District, which can qualify housing developers and their contractors to receive certain tax credits if their development project involves either building or rehabilitating at least six residential housing units. Those units can be apartments or individual homes, such as in a housing development.
According to Smith, there are two types of tax benefits offered. The first of these, a sales tax exemption, allows for contractors and subcontractors of a housing project which has been approved as a Build WV project, to be exempt paying sales tax on materials directly used in the construction. She explained that the second tax benefit is designed for the owner or developer of the qualified construction project, called the Property Value Adjustment Credit. Although the calculation of that credit is a complex mathematical formula, basically it allows for the owner or developer to receive a large tax credit once the approved project has been completed. She provided an example where a 5-million-dollar housing project could possibly result in an approximate $600,000 tax credit after the project is complete.
Smith said that a developer who wishes to participate in Build WV, must obtain an application from the WVDED, submit a draft application, which her office will review, and if the review looks correct, they must submit the formal application along with a non-refundable $5,000 application fee. The application must be approved by the WVDED to qualify for the incentives.
Smith explained that one of the major reasons an area such as Pocahontas County lacks a sufficient workforce is that there is a lack of reasonably priced housing for workers, and Build WV can be a tool to help create that needed housing.