Downtown Erie is included on a list of communities nominated by Governor Wolf for a special federal program intended to spur private investment in economic development efforts, according to Senator Dan Laughlin.
The tracts nominated for Opportunity Zone status include a substantial portion of Downtown Erie along with a separate tract along the railroad lines between Route 5 and Buffalo Road. Specifically, these tracts include: 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 15. A statewide map of qualified tracts is available at: https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=bcd443cbdcc94547bcc3fe72fd9a69ae
The federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 created Qualified Opportunity Zones as a tool for promoting long-term investment in low-income communities. Investors are provided tax benefits for investing capital gains in low-income community census tracts – and certain tracts adjacent to low-income tracts.
“I sincerely hope the US Treasury Department will endorse the nomination of these Erie tracts for the program,” said Senator Laughlin. “This incentive program would be another outstanding tool for our local economic development officials to use to attract new businesses to our city. We have a great location and we have a motivated workforce. That’s a good combination and the tax incentives would only make us more attractive for investment.
Senator Laughlin said he hopes Governor Wolf will make Erie even more attractive by including it in the state’s City Revitalization and Improvement Zone (CRIZ) program.
Created by Act 52 of 2013, a CRIZ is an area of up to 130 acres, composed of parcels designated by a contracting authority, which will provide economic development and job creation. State and local taxes collected in the CRIZ are used to repay debt service to stimulate economic development projects within the CRIZ. Bethlehem and Lancaster are now demonstrating positive results only a few years after receiving their CRIZ designations. In its first year, Lancaster’s new CRIZ produced $3.4 million in benefits for that community.
“The CRIZ programs has proven its value,” Senator Laughlin said. “While not every CRIZ project is guaranteed success, the sheer volume of success stories, under both Republican and Democratic governors, has demonstrated that these programs should be continued, especially in troubled communities such as Erie.”
Contact: Matt Azeles firstname.lastname@example.org