(By Delegates Canterbury, Carmichael, Evans, Hamilton,

Armstead, Leggett, Webb, Walters, Blair, Duke, Hall,

Wakim, Calvert, Caruth, Sobonya, Schoen and Schadler)

[Introduced February 19, 2003; referred to the

Committee on Rules.]

Requesting the State Tax Commissioner to study alternative economic development strategies that attract wealthier consumer bases, such as senior citizens by directly providing these consumers with incentives and quality of life improvements.

Whereas, Conventional economic strategies for stimulating the economy are directed towards providing businesses with incentives to transact business in West Virginia, alternative strategies exist that stimulate economies by providing income incentives for attracting wealthier consumer bases which increase state revenue through consumer spending; and
Whereas, There exists a growing population of senior citizens in West Virginia, as well as in the United States, that provides one possible alternative economic strategy for expanding wealthier consumer bases; and
Whereas, Senior citizens are generally more economically stable than other demographic groups, the State should study whether providing senior citizens with income incentives and quality of life improvements would retain senior citizens that currently live in West Virginia, as well as attract new senior citizens to relocate to West Virginia; and
Whereas, New businesses may be disinclined to transact business in West Virginia because of higher taxes, workers' compensation rates and the regulatory climate, which senior citizens are generally not affected by; and
Whereas, An economically stable consumer base, such as senior citizens, provides increased revenue to businesses which naturally attract businesses and outweigh any concerns businesses may have with transacting business in West Virginia; and
Whereas, Specific areas to study include, but are not limited to: (1) Eliminating personal income taxes for senior citizens; (2) eliminating taxes that may discourage senior citizens from relocating to West Virginia, such as the automobile transfer taxes; (3) estimating how much revenue would be lost by eliminating these taxes; (4) projecting the potential increase in revenue to the state by retaining and attracting senior citizens; and (5) projecting the economic growth impact from implementation of this strategy; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Tax Commissioner of the State of West Virginia be requested to study alternative economic development strategies for stimulating West Virginia's economy, such as providing senior citizens with incentives and quality of life improvements; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the State Tax Commissioner report to the regular session of the Legislature, 2004, as to the commissioner's findings and any recommendations the commissioner may have; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Clerk of the House is directed to send a copy of this resolution to the State Tax Commissioner.