Candidate details county economic-development strategy

North River Supervisor candidate Marshall Pattie detailed on Thursday a change in economic-development strategy for Augusta County that would boost local small businesses.

“For the past two decades, the Board of Supervisors has followed the strategy of recruiting high-tech and manufacturing firms to the county with limited success. Rather than recruit outside firms, we should focus on growing our small businesses,” Pattie said.

The Pattie plan:

– Raise the materiality for tools and equipment to between $300 and $500. “We currently tax small businesses on every tool and piece of equipment that they own, right down to the last hammer,” Pattie said.

– Eliminate taxes on tools and equipment when the property has fully depreciated.

– Phase out taxes on inventory. “In slow times, inventory grows, and the county reduces the profits of these firms every year,” Pattie said.

– Offer incentives to local business and industry looking to expand. “We have vacant industrial parks that have been sitting there for years. If a firm from Pennsylvania, for example, wants to come here, we provide significant incentives for them to do so. However, we don’t do this for local firms. If a local business wants to expand and hire more Augusta County residents, then I would be willing to offer similar incentives that we offer to outsiders,” Pattie said.

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