Ensure favoritism not a part of tourism tax credit

West Virginia House of Delegates members had no realistic option but to pass a bill extending the state’s tourism tax credit program, as they did Monday. The initiative is too important to tourism, which is a big and growing industry in our state.

Still, lawmakers who raised questions about whether Gov. Jim Justice will benefit from the program were right to do so. It appears two projects at The Greenbrier resort, owned by the governor, may be eligible for the tax credits.

But The Greenbrier is the most prestigious tourist attraction in West Virginia. Simply ruling it ineligible because the governor owns it makes no sense. Delegates, who approved the tax credit bill in an 87-9 vote, apparently understand that.

Consideration of any state action that could help the governor — or any other state officials — ought to be based solely on the merits. If The Greenbrier applies for and receives the tax credits, legislators ought to review the process to ensure no favoritism was involved.

In our state, where public corruption is rampant, such oversight is vital.


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