A Charleston Gazette-Mail and ProPublica investigation has found that The Greenbrier, the storied luxury West Virginia hotel and golf resort now owned by Gov. Jim Justice, is profiting from state laws enacted by Justice himself. Last year, as the state’s chief executive, Justice included the 11,000-acre spread that’s become known for congressional Republican retreats as part of a federal “opportunity zone,” a designation that was intended to help underdeveloped, impoverished communities. Opportunity zones are a result of President Trump’s federal tax overhaul, and are poorer Census tracts demarcated by governors who incentivize investment in those areas by making investors eligible for tax credits. The Greenbrier has been struggling financially since numerous storms damaged parts of the property in 2016.
In June, Justice signed in a number of additional bills, including House Bill 113, which gives additional state tax breaks for investments in “opportunity zones,” like the one that includes The Greenbrier. A spokesman for the governor’s companies said: “Mr. Justice has every right to have business interests as governor and he will continue to demonstrate great sensitivity to ethical considerations.”