CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The state Senate defeated an amendment to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's bill meant to increase the required investment for cities seeking special tax districts.
House Bill 2508 would require cities to have $75 million in capital investments before the state could approve a TIF district for the municipality. The state currently only requires $25 million in capital investments.
Sen. Dave Sypolt, R-Preston, proposed an amendment on the Senate floor Thursday that would have knocked the required investment back to $25 million.
Senate Minority Whip Clark Barnes, R-Randolph, stood to support Sypolt's amendment. He said the original intent of TIF districts is to spur economic development.
"I see most of you are from rural areas. And I don't think any one of you would argue that $25 million is a heck of a big project in most of our communities," he said.
Senate Finance Chairman Roman Prezioso, D-Marion, said Sypolt's intentions were good but $25 million is too low for an effective TIF district. He said one "big box store" would meet that threshold in a small community.
Sypolt's amendment was defeated by a voice vote. The TIF bill now will go up for passage in the Senate on Friday.