Senator Dan Laughlin today again called on Governor Tom Wolf to reverse his moratorium on the expansion of a development program that could spur development and job growth in Erie and communities across Pennsylvania.
Speaking during a Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearing with the Department of Community & Economic Development, Senator Laughlin asked Secretary Dennis Davin about Erie’s request to participate in the Early Intervention Program and to receive a City Revitalization and Improvement Zone (CRIZ) designation.
Senator Laughlin, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, has written the Governor on multiple occasions and previously met with Secretary Davin to push Erie’s case for a CRIZ.
“During the DCED budget hearing we discussed Pennsylvania’s offer of $4.5 billion in grants and credits to bolster the incentive packages Pittsburgh and Philadelphia offered to Amazon,” Senator Laughlin said. “I definitely appreciate an aggressive approach when it comes to economic development initiatives and job creation. It is only appropriate for the state to support similar efforts here in Erie.”
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.
“I am reaching out personally to the Governor right now. He could be the hero for the City of Erie if he would just call our mayor and tell him to apply for a CRIZ,” Senator Laughlin told Secretary Davin.
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