H. B. 4459
(By Mr. Speaker, Mr. Kiss, and Delegate Thompson)
[Introduced February 9, 2000; referred to the
Committee on Government Organization then Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section six, article fifteen, chapter
thirty-one of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to granting the
authority power to negotiate between the state and high tech
sales companies to induce the companies to locate in the state
in exchange for tax incentives.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section six, article fifteen, chapter thirty-one of the
code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 15. WEST VIRGINIA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY.
§31-15-6. General powers of authority.
The authority, as a public corporation and governmental
instrumentality exercising public powers of the state, shall have
and may exercise all powers necessary or appropriate to carry out
the purposes of this article, including the power:
(a) To cooperate with industrial development agencies in
efforts to promote the expansion of industrial, commercial,
manufacturing and tourist activity in this state.
(b) To determine, upon the proper application of an industrial
development agency or an enterprise, whether the declared public
purposes of this article have been or will be accomplished by the
agency or enterprise of a project in
(c) To conduct examinations and investigations and to hear
testimony and take proof, under oath or affirmation, at public or
private hearings, on any matter relevant to this article and
necessary for information on the establishment of any project.
(d) To issue subpoenas requiring the attendance of witnesses
and the production of books and papers relevant to any hearing
authority or one or more members appointed by it to
conduct any hearing.
(e) To apply to the circuit court having venue of
offense to have punished for contempt any witness who refuses to
obey a subpoena, to be sworn or affirmed or to testify or who
commits any contempt after being summoned to appear.
(f) To authorize any member of the authority to conduct
hearings, administer oaths, take affidavits and issue subpoenas.
(g) To financially assist projects by insuring obligations in
the manner provided in this article through the use of the
(h) To finance any projects by making loans to industrial
development agencies or enterprises upon
such terms as the
authority shall deem consider appropriate: Provided, That nothing
contained in this subsection (h) or under any other provision in
this article shall be construed as permitting the authority to make
loans for working capital: Provided, however, That nothing
contained in this article shall be construed as prohibiting the
authority from insuring loans for working capital made to
industrial development agencies or to enterprises by financial
institutions: Provided further, That nothing contained in this
subsection or any other provision of this article shall be
construed as permitting the authority to refinance existing debt
except when such refinancing will result in the expansion of the enterprise whose debt is to be refinanced or in the creation of new
(i) To issue revenue bonds or notes to fulfill the purposes of
this article, and to secure the payment of
such bonds or notes, all
as hereinafter provided.
(j) To issue and deliver revenue bonds or notes in exchange
for a project.
(k) To borrow money for its purposes and issue bonds or notes
for the money and provide for the rights of the holders of the
bonds or notes or other negotiable instruments, to secure the bonds
or notes by a deed of trust on, or an assignment or pledge of, any
or all of its property and property of the project, including any
part of the security for loans, and the authority may issue and
sell its bonds and notes, by public or private sale, in
principal amounts as it shall deem consider necessary to provide
funds for any purposes under this article, including the making of
loans for the purposes set forth in this article.
(l) To maintain such sinking funds and reserves as the board
shall determine appropriate for the purposes of meeting future
monetary obligations and needs of the authority.
(m) To sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, and complain and defend in any court.
(n) To adopt, use and alter at will a corporate seal.
(o) To make, amend, repeal and adopt both bylaws and rules
regulations for the management and regulation of its affairs.
(p) To appoint officers, agents and employees and to contract
for and engage the services of consultants.
(q) To make contracts of every kind and nature to execute all
instruments necessary or convenient for carrying on its business.
(r) To accept grants and loans from and enter into contracts
and other transactions with any federal agency.
(s) To take title by conveyance or foreclosure to any project
where acquisition is necessary to protect any loan previously made
by the authority and to sell, by public or private sale, transfer,
lease or convey
project to any enterprise.
(t) To participate in any reorganization proceeding pending
pursuant to the United States Code (being the act of Congress
establishing a uniform system of bankruptcy throughout the United
States, as amended) or in any receivership proceeding in a state or
federal court for the reorganization or liquidation of an
enterprise. The authority may file its claim against any
enterprise in any of the foregoing proceedings, vote upon any questions pending therein which requires the approval of the
creditors participating in any reorganization proceeding or
receivership, exchange any evidence of such the
any property, security or evidence of indebtedness offered as a
part of the reorganization of such the
enterprise or of any other
entity formed to acquire the assets thereof and may compromise or
reduce the amount of any indebtedness owing to it as a part of any
(u) To acquire, construct, maintain, improve, repair, replace
and operate projects within this state, as well as streets, roads,
alleys, sidewalks, crosswalks and other means of ingress and egress
to and from projects located within this state.
(v) To acquire, construct, maintain, improve, repair and
replace and operate pipelines, electric transmission lines,
waterlines, sewer lines, electric power substations, waterworks
systems, sewage treatment and disposal facilities and any
combinations thereof for the use and benefit of any enterprise
located within this state.
(w) To acquire watersheds, water and riparian rights,
rights-of-way, easements, licenses and any and all other property,
property rights and appurtenances for the use and benefit of any enterprise located within this state.
(x) To acquire, by purchase, lease, donation or eminent
domain, any real or personal property, or any right or interest
therein, as may be necessary or convenient to carry out the
purposes of the authority. Title to all property, property rights
and interests acquired by the authority shall be taken in the name
of the authority.
(y) To issue renewal notes, or security interests, to issue
bonds to pay notes or security interests and, whenever it deems
refunding expedient, to refund any bonds or notes by the issuance
of new bonds or notes, whether the bonds or notes to be refunded
have or have not matured and whether or not the authority
originally issued the bonds or notes to be refunded.
(z) To apply the proceeds from the sale of renewal notes,
security interests or refunding bonds or notes to the purchase,
redemption or payment of the notes, security interests or bonds or
notes to be refunded.
(aa) To accept gifts or grants of property, funds, security
interests, money, materials, labor, supplies or services from the
United States of America or from any governmental unit or any
person, firm or corporation, and to carry out the terms or provisions of, or make agreements with respect to, or pledge, any
gifts or grants, and to do any and all things necessary, useful,
desirable or convenient in connection with the procuring,
acceptance or disposition of gifts or grants.
(bb) To the extent permitted under its contracts with the
holders of bonds, security interests or notes of the authority, to
consent to any modification of the rate of interest, time of
payment of any installment of principal or interest, security or
any other term of any bond, security interests, note or contract or
agreement of any kind to which the authority is a party.
(cc) To sell loans, security interests or other obligations in
the loan portfolio of the authority.
Such The security interests
shall be evidenced by instruments issued by the authority.
Proceeds from the sale of loans, security interests, or other
obligations may be used in the same manner and for the same
purposes as bond and note revenues.
(dd) To procure insurance against any losses in connection
with its property, operations or assets in such amounts and from
such insurers as the authority deems desirable.
(ee) To sell, license, lease, mortgage, assign, pledge or
donate its property, both real and personal, or any right or interest therein to another or authorize the possession, occupancy
or use of
property or any right or interest therein by
another, in such manner and upon such terms as it deems considers
(ff) To participate with the state and federal agencies in
efforts to promote the expansion of commercial and industrial
development in this state.
(gg) To finance, organize, conduct, sponsor, participate and
assist in the conduct of special institutes, conferences,
demonstrations and studies relating to the stimulation and
formation of business, industry and trade endeavors.
(hh) To conduct, finance and participate in technological,
business, financial and other studies related to business and
(ii) To conduct, sponsor, finance, participate and assist in
the preparation of business plans, financing plans and other
proposals of new or established businesses suitable for support by
(jj) To prepare, publish and distribute, with or without
charge as the authority may determine, such technical studies,
reports, bulletins and other materials as it
deems considers appropriate, subject only to the maintenance and respect for
confidentiality of client proprietary information.
(kk) To exercise
such other and additional powers as may be
necessary or appropriate for the exercise of the powers herein
(ll) To exercise all of the powers which a corporation may
lawfully exercise under the laws of this state.
(mm) To contract for the provision of legal services by
private counsel, and notwithstanding the provisions of article
three, chapter five, such counsel may, but is not limited to,
represent the authority in court, negotiate contracts and other
agreements on behalf of the authority, render advice to the
authority on any matter relating thereto, prepare contracts and
other agreements, and provide such other legal services as may be
requested by the authority.
(nn) To develop, maintain, operate and apply for the
establishment of foreign trade zones pursuant to and in accordance
with all applicable provisions of federal law.
(oo) To conduct and negotiate contracts between internet and
like high tech sales companies and the state for start-up tax
incentives in exchange for locating within the state.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is, by tax incentives, to make
the state an enterprise zone for high tech sales companies who sell
over the internet.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would