W.Va. remote worker program attracts interest of tens of thousands
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The new remote worker program in West Virginia has attracted the interest of more than 65,000 people within 48 hours of being announced, said Gov. Jim Justice Wednesday during a press briefing.
The governor began his press conference by saying 55,000 people had inquired about the new program and concluded with an updated figure of 65,000.
Within just a few hours of being launched, Gov. Justice said the program had 200 applicants from 38 different states. As of Wednesday morning, there were more than 2,000 complete applications.
Currently, the program only has 50 available spots in Morgantown.
The programs’ aim is to recruit outdoor enthusiast professionals to the Mountain State.
The program, called Ascend WV, supported by West Virginia native Brad D. Smith and his wife, Alys, will allow adventurers to enjoy world-class recreation, uncrowded spaces and a low cost of living while staying fully connected to their jobs, and it comes with an incentive package: $12,000 and a year’s worth of free outdoor recreation.
Gov. Justice used the news as an example of why the West Virginia legislature needs to pass legislation that would eliminate the state’s personal income tax.
“55,000 inquired about the possibly of coming to West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said Wednesday. “I hope and pray that the house comes to the realization of good sense. So many people have looked at me over the personal income tax and said ‘how do you know they will come?’ Just think, just think of what we have missed. In 36 hours, 55,000 people.”
April 9, The West Virginia House of Delegates unanimously objected a motion to concur with West Virginia Senate amendments to a bill that would eliminate the state’s personal income tax, effectively killing the proposal for this legislative session.
The House chamber filled with applause after the vote tally lit up red Friday afternoon with all nay votes.
The last version of HB 3300, which would repeal the state’s personal income tax and replace it with a number of tax increases, did an about-face since leaving the House with a yes vote weeks prior.
Senate Finance Chair Eric Tarr (R-Putnam) completely rewrote the bill in line with Gov. Justice’s proposal at an income tax summit.
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