From Your Delegate: Pass-through taxes and protecting our software – WV News

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Cloudy with snow showers changing to rain showers as the day progresses. High 42F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%..
Cloudy with rain and snow showers in the evening. Snow showers overnight. Low 27F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precip 50%.
Updated: March 13, 2023 @ 1:19 am
Del. Gary Howell

Del. Gary Howell
We have now completed the 2023 regular legislative session. All bills that are not on the Governor’s desk are dead until the 2024 regular session in January of 2024. We will meet for interim meetings during the off season multiple times, where we have in-depth discussions on state issues as a way to prepare for the 2024 session. There is always the possibility that the Governor can call a special session should the need arrive, but here are some of the highlights from the past week.
One of the more interesting bills of the session is Committee Substitute for SB 151, titled “Levying tax on pass-through entity’s income.” The pass-through entity would typically be a small business and the participation is voluntary. What is interesting is that it doesn’t cost the business any additional tax, but does trigger a federal tax credit the small business can take advantage of. It should help our small businesses struggling to recover in the post covid world.
With social media platforms like TikTok, owned by the Communist Chinese, many states, West Virginia included, are looking to safeguard the state’s system against software used to spy on Americans by the Communist Chinese and other rogue nations. SB 426 is to help secure our state’s electronic devices. The legislative findings in the bill state, “The Legislature hereby finds and declares that it is in the best interest of the citizens of West Virginia and to national security to enact measures designed to safeguard against untrustworthy and high-risk technology and to block such technology.” This bill will help protect the personal data of West Virginians.
One of the longer debates of the week was on HB 2883. It is titled, “Making a supplemental appropriation from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund.” The title doesn’t do a good job of explaining what the bill did and that coupled with freshman legislators still learning the process of how the state government works caused some misunderstandings. The bill transfers $482,000,000 to the Economic Development Authority. Many on the floor confused the Economic Development Authority with the Department of Economic Development. The very successful Department of Economic Development is well funded and several thought we were putting even more money into that department, but that was not the case. This money was going to the Economic Development Authority which provides low-interest loans many of the state’s water and sewer projects. Several projects in Mineral County would be put in jeopardy had this money not been made available. Also the Coronavirus monies have a lot of restrictions from the federal government and the amendments offered for the most part would have directed the funding to areas not authorized by the federal government and had it been spent that way it would have demanded the money be paid back. In the end the amendments failed and Mineral County’s projects are safe, but it also shows the steep learning curve that new legislators have understanding what we can and cannot do. With federal restrictions in flux this is a constantly changing landscape to navigate.
I was saddened to hear about the closing of Hunter-Douglas across the river in Allegany County, Maryland. This will affect a large number of West Virginians, so I reached out immediately to WorkForce West Virginia, Governor Justice’s office and the offices of Congressman Mooney and Senators Capito and Manchin. All are working to get additional resources available for the displaced workers.
Even though we are no longer in session, if you have an idea to make our great state even more attractive, see an opportunity or just need help with a state agency, please contact me. My office number is 304-340-3191 or you can e@mail me at Gary.Howell@WVHouse.gov
Del. Gary Howell represents the 87th District of the West Virginia House of Delegates.

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