South Charleston Leaders Look to Attract Big Business with Tax Credit

By: Sarah Sager Email
By: Sarah Sager Email

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- South Charleston City Council is considering an ordinance that would allow for a business and occupation tax credit for new manufacturing businesses.

Some city leaders say it's a creative piece of legislation they hope will pass and then bring a lot of payout.

"I never dreamed it would be as exciting to put in new business as it has for us. People are really looking at South Charleston," said Bob Anderson, executive director of the South Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau.

In the past two years, small businesses have flocked to the city, looking for a tax break. More than 100 have come in just the past year.

"It's good for small business, where your tax credits come up front," Anderson said.

However, the wants and needs of bigger manufacturing businesses aren't the same.

"They would rather see a tax credit later on down the line, when they are up and running and doing well, than in the beginning when the production is low and they are not doing a lot of business," Mayor Frank Mullens said.

To get the tax break, the companies have to earn it. Mullens says the legislation is geared toward businesses that employ 200 to 400 people and gross sales of $100 to $400 million.

It's big business South Charleston desperately needs, with many large properties sitting idle or vacant.

"We’re working on a lot of big business coming to South Charleston, and we think within the next six months you'll see some," Anderson said.

The legislation is even bringing hope that former businesses like Charleston Stamping and Manufacturing could be revived.

"It’s a possibility; we'll see," Mullens said. "We're still working on a few things over there. We've been constantly in contact with them for forever and a day trying to get something going. But things are looking better and we could potentially have something down the road."

South Charleston City Council will meet at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at City Hall to discuss the proposed ordinance. It is expected to pass.

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