Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Governor Corbett Awards City Revitalization and Improvement Zone PilotZone Designation to the Borough of Tamaqua

Governor Tom Corbett, on Wednesday, awarded a City Revitalization and Improvement Zone (CRIZ) program Pilot Zone designation to the Borough of Tamaqua, Schuylkill County.

Through innovative financing that will not place undue strain on the General Fund, the CRIZ program provides designated municipalities an opportunity to leverage state tax dollars to spur private investment in under-utilized properties. State and local taxes collected within the CRIZ will be used to repay debt service to spur economic development projects within the zone.
“Our local communities are critical to Pennsylvania’s economy,” said Gov. Corbett. “By creating a CRIZ Pilot Zone in Tamaqua, we are helping the borough attract new private investment to spur job growth.”
Local officials in Tamaqua were recently informed of their Pilot Zone designation. The borough will work closely with the Department of Community and Economic Development and the Department of Revenue to identify priority projects within their applications.
Applications were reviewed by the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Department of Revenue and the Office of the Budget, which awarded the Pilot Zone designation based on eligibility requirements identified in program guidelines.
In July 2013, Gov. Corbett signed the CRIZ program into law in conjunction with the 2013-14 state budget to spur new growth in eligible cities to attract development, revive downtowns and create jobs for residents in the regions. In Oct. 2014, the state legislature approved a technical amendment to the legislation enabling a borough or township with a population of 7,000 or more to create a contracting authority which can then be used to apply for a Pilot Zone.
The legislation permitted up to two CRIZ designations and one Pilot Zone approval before 2016, then up to two additional CRIZ designations each year beginning in 2016. In Dec. 2013, Gov. Corbett awarded the initial two CRIZ program designations to the cities of Bethlehem and Lancaster.
Senator Dave Argall (R-29) had the following comment  
“This is a tremendous opportunity for the Borough of Tamaqua and its surrounding communities — Tamaqua is the first non-city and only the third municipality in Pennsylvania to earn this coveted designation. I’d like to applaud the local officials for their efforts to realize the potential of this program already utilized in Lancaster and Bethlehem. I’m looking forward to working with residents, borough officials, businesses, developers and others to maximize the borough’s potential and take full advantage of this program.”

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