Public News Service – The controversial Rockwool heavy-industry project could get a big federal tax break designed for poor areas – despite being in one of West Virginia’s richest counties. Read article.
The Rockwool proposal for an insulation-manufacturing plant has drawn intense opposition from critics, who say it would bring industrial pollution to Jefferson County, an already fast-growing bedroom community near Washington, D.C. But Rockwool’s census tract was named as a federal Opportunity Zone, meaning the company could defer or maybe never pay capital-gains taxes.
Seth DiStefano, policy outreach director with the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, questions the reasoning, when the program is meant for distressed areas.
“I’m not saying that people aren’t struggling in Jefferson County. But Jefferson County, West Virginia, is one of the most prosperous counties, if not the most prosperous county in the entire state,” DiStefano said. “Why do they have so many Opportunity Zones in Jefferson County?”
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