A Payment in Lieu of Tax (PILOT) agreement is a property tax abatement where a company (sometimes a non-profit) agrees to make annual payments to local governments instead of paying the property taxes it would normally owe. Usually these payments are just a fraction of what otherwise would have been paid over the time of the PILOT agreements or a fixed percentage of property taxes owed.
While it is unknown how many PILOT agreements and property tax abatements exist in West Virginia and what their impact is on our revenue systems or economic development, there are several options that policymakers can pursue to provide the accountability and transparency needed to discern whether they are a sound use of public funds.
Property tax abatements included in PILOT agreements have a significant impact on state and local budgets and they often occur behind closed doors. They can also be highly controversial (see Rockwool). It is incumbent upon our state and local governments to ensure that PILOT agreements and local property tax abatements provide a good investment for our communities. And they must ensure that we are not just shifting costs on to workers and taxpayers for investments that businesses would have made anyway.
Read more in Ted’s blog post.
On Wednesday, Governor Jim Justice issued an executive order officially establishing the West Virginia Complete Count Commission (CCC) for the 2020 Census, a welcome development that advocates have been requesting for several months.
Kelly Allen and Seth DiStefano of the WVCBP attended the first statewide CCC meeting, also held on Wednesday, and affirmed the importance of the Census to West Virginia as it helps determine the share of federal funding the state receives for Medicaid, SNAP, school meals, infrastructure, and much more. Over 443,000 West Virginians live in communities that are considered “hard to count” by the Census Bureau and are at risk of an undercount, which could result in a lack of much-needed federal investment.
The Governor’s Complete Count Commission is tasked with educating West Virginians on how important the 2020 Census is to our state to ensure a complete count. The Census Bureau also emphasized the importance of state funding for the CCC. So far, 23 states, including Alabama and Montana, have allocated state dollars to support a robust and complete Census count.
As an organizational partner with the Food for All Coalition, the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy is proud to support the 2019-2020 Food for All agenda to improve food security in the Mountain State.
Across West Virginia, nearly 15% of households are food insecure and the impact hunger has on our kids is an even bigger problem. For the second year in a row, WVCBP is proud to join coalition partners from around West Virginia to create momentum ahead of the 2020 regular session around public policy measures that will improve food security outcomes for our friends and neighbors.
Read more here.
Floralee Hark Cohen Cinema, downstairs in Taylor Books, Capitol Street,
7:00 PM. Tickets available here.
Please join us for the release of the Criminal Justice Listening Project Report next month at the State Capitol! The West Virginia Criminal Justice Listening Project collected stories about the criminal justice system from over two hundred people around the state.
The majority of those interviewed have experienced incarceration or have had family members behind bars. The individuals surveyed shared their observations as pastors, volunteers, attorneys, correctional officers and staff of community re-entry programs.
The event will take place on Monday, November 18 at 11:00AM in Governor’s Press Conference Room.
Mark your calendar for January 15, 2020 for our 7th annual Budget Breakfast as we kick off the 2020 Legislative Session.
Registration now open!
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