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Tourism Development Act

Prosper from West Virginia’s Natural Wealth and Beauty

West Virginia’s bountiful natural beauty, picturesque towns, and hospitable population make the state an ideal tourist destination. The West Virginia Tourism Development Act encourages the creation and/or expansion of tourism development projects so companies and entrepreneurs can better take advantage of the wealth and beauty the state has to offer. Businesses eligible for the program give back to their local communities by creating and preserving jobs, improving the local economy, and generating new sources of revenue that support public services provided by the state.

Businesses eligible for the act will receive a 25-percent tax credit from consumers sales and service taxes collected on the gross receipts generated directly from daily operations. Additionally, certain projects can receive a 35-percent credit if the project is on an abandoned surface mine or is on/adjacent to a state or national forest or park.

Projects eligible for the West Virginia Tourism Development Act will meet the following criteria:

  • attract at least 25 percent of its visitors from outside of West Virginia
  • generate approved costs in excess of $1,000,000
  • create a significant and positive economic impact on the state
  • operate for a minimum of 100 days per year
  • provide additional employment opportunities in the state
  • no more than 50% of the project costs can be for lodging

The West Virginia Department of Economic Development (WVDED) oversees the program and reviews all applications in collaboration with the West Virginia Department of Tourism. A non-refundable application fee of $10,000 is required to apply. Applications must be approved before the project is complete and open to the public.

Please read WV §5B-2E-5 for the entire list of approval considerations.

The tax credit is taken over a 10-year period, at the rate of one tenth of the amount per taxable year. The credit begins with the taxable year in which the project is opened to the public, unless the approved company elects to delay the beginning of the 10-year period until the next succeeding taxable year. 

If any credit remains, the amount of credit carries over to each ensuing tax year until used completely used—ensuring companies get the full benefit of this incentive. If any unused credit remains after the 13th year, that amount is forfeited. The sales tax base must be increased annually to receive the full credit. 

Eligible companies may apply for the West Virginia Tourism Development Act by clicking the “Apply Here” button at the bottom of this page. Please note that there is a non-refundable $10,000 application fee. 

If you are interested in learning more or discovering if your project may be eligible, please reach out to us at the contact information below. We look forward to working with you.

Meghan Smith
West Virginia Department of Economic Development

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