Looking to move? West Virginia offering cash, free passes to bring remote workers in


FILE – In this Aug. 30, 2012 file photo whitewater rafters are shown rafting the lower New River Gorge, near Fayetteville, W.Va. (Lawrence Pierce/Charleston Gazette-Mail via AP, File)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia is joining the growing list of places recruiting remote workers — with a thrill-seeking twist.

A program launched Monday will try to lure outdoor enthusiasts to live in the rural state with enticements of cash and free passes for recreational destinations.

The goal is to leverage one of West Virginia’s most appealing assets, its natural beauty, to stem a population loss in the only state that has fewer residents now than in 1950.

According to a statement from the West Virginia Tourism Office, the state’s cost of living is 16% below the national average, and its Legislature recently passed a bill to reform the state’s corporate tax laws, making it “a haven for all remote workers.”

Program participants will receive $12,000 cash. They’ll also get passes for a year for adventures such as whitewater rafting and golf.

The program is now accepting applications for the first 50 openings in Morgantown.

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