West Virginia’s Senate passed a bill Monday that would give $25,000 in tax credits to former residents who move back to the state to work.

The Senate passed the bill unanimously and sent it to the House of Delegates.

Those eligible for the tax credit had to live and work in West Virginia for at least 10 years or were born in the state. They had to live outside the state for at least 10 consecutive years prior to 2023.

Unused portions of the credit could be applied to future tax years. The credit would expire in 2029.

State officials have tried other cash enticements in the past few years to try to beef up West Virginia’s sagging population. The Department of Tourism is offering $12,000 cash plus free passes for a host of outdoor adventures to remote workers to move to certain areas of the state.

West Virginia lost a greater percentage of its residents than any other state from 2010 to 2020, when the population dropped 3.2%, or about 59,000 people. It’s been such a problem due to long-term declines in the coal, steel and other industries that West Virginia is now the only state with fewer residents than it had in 1950.


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