West Virginia Nonprofit Youth Organization Tax Exemption, Amendment 1 (2014)
If approved by voters, the measure would not become effective until the legislature adopts legislation prescribing requirements, limitations and conditions for the use of the tax exempt facility in order to protect local businesses from “unfair competition and unreasonable loss of revenue.”
The measure's legislatively assigned name was Nonprofit Youth Organization Tax Exemption Support Amendment.
The Boy Scout's Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve is the only existing entity in West Virginia that would be affected by the proposed amendment's approval.
Text of measure
The ballot purpose summary reads as follows:
|“||Amendment No. 1 - Nonprofit Youth Organization Tax Exemption Support Amendment
To amend the State Constitution to exempt from property tax certain properties in this state owned by nonprofit youth organizations and built at cost of at least $100 million whether or not the property is used for the nonprofit youth organization’s charitable or nonprofit purpose to help raise funds for the benefit of the nonprofit youth organization. If approved, the Legislature would be required businesses [sic] from unfair competition and unreasonable loss of revenue caused by the nonprofit organization use of the tax exemption. 
|§12. Nonprofit youth organization revenue exemption.|
The proposed amendment was encouraged by the Boy Scouts' Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve - a 10,600 acre property in Fayette County. Dan McCarthy, the reserve’s director, called the amendment a “win-win.” He said, “When the Boy Scouts started talking to the state of West Virginia seriously, part of the commitment was using the site as a venue for the state where large events could be held. We realized this was a facility unlike any other in the state.” He noted that the organization could lose their tax-exempt status in West Virginia if they leased their property. He continued, “If someone came to us and asked us, 'We would like to host a concert in your stadium,' we would have to say 'No, we can't do that,' because then the property tax would come to us.”
The Register-Herald reported that the Boy Scout's Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve is the only existing entity in West Virginia that would be affected by the proposed amendment's approval.
- Boy Scouts' Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve
- Rep. Adam R. Young (D-41) argued, “I think it can have outreaching impact in every county that touches Fayette (County) and beyond. When you bring in something like that, there's bound to be economic development because the more people you bring into the area, the more money they'll be putting into the area, so I see it as a total positive.”
- Rep. David Perry (D-32) expressed concerns about the amendment, saying, “We are very excited about the continued development of the Boy Scout adventure camp, which holds great economic and tourism potential for Southern West Virginia. But we were concerned that a tax-exempt entity like the Boy Scouts could profit at the expense of our local businesses.”
Path to the ballot
- See also: Amending the West Virginia Constitution
According to the West Virginia Constitution, a two-thirds vote in both chambers of the West Virginia Legislature was required to refer the amendment to the ballot. On March 7, 2014, HJR 108 was adopted in the West Virginia Senate. On March 8, 2014, HJR 108 was adopted in the West Virginia House of Representatives.
March 8, 2014 House vote
|West Virginia HJR 108 House Vote|
- West Virginia Legislature, "House Joint Resolution No. 108," accessed May 1, 2014
- The Register-Herald, "House puts Boy Scouts amendment on the ballot," February 28, 2014
- West Virginia Legislature, "House Joint Resolution 108 Status," accessed February 26, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- The Register-Herald, "Voters to decide on youth nonprofit tax status," July 29, 2014
- Charleston Daily Mail, "Resolution for Boy Scouts moves forward," March 2, 2014
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