Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Unequal taxation are KOZs

It will not be a surprise to learn promoters of the idea of housing in Keystone Opportunity Zones in PA desire another, longer extension of the legislation to give them a longer time period to purchasers to live tax-free. Mark the date 2013 on your calendar. Sometime around then, we'll see state Rep. Tim Mahoney propose a new plan for economic development that includes an expansion of KOZs.

Remember, developers and owners, Fay-Penn, have had every governmental grant available to them since 1998/99, when the three local taxing bodies adopted KOZs.

Where are the high-paying jobs? Where are the new employers, not just the recycled businesses that close down in one area of the county to reopen in the KOZ?

Keep watching.

Fayette County woos new companies, but where will workers live?By C.M. Mortimer
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, April 8, 2007


In recent years, Fayette County has had success wooing new companies in technology, defense and homeland security industries. Economic development officials say the county needs more workers with the right skills to keep growing.
But Fayette needs quality housing -- condominiums, townhouses or starter homes in good neighborhoods -- to attract workers, their families and top managers.

"Fayette County is at the point where it needs to be looking at the type and quality of growth. We have to get rid of the beggar mentality," said Michael W. Krajovic, president of the Fay-Penn Economic Development Council, the agency charged with adding employment opportunities in the mostly rural Southwest Pennsylvania county.

Enter Elliott Edelstein, a Monroeville housing developer who believes parts of Fayette County could become the next Cranberry -- the Butler County community that is one of the fastest-growing in the state and home to 3,000 businesses.

Edelstein's Crystal Springs Investors is trying to develop 229 acres in Springhill Township and build 280 single-family homes, which would make it the largest housing development in Fayette County in years. His group has an option on 625 acres nearby.

The kicker: the land in question is in a Keystone Opportunity Zone, where generous tax breaks are available. Originally intended to spur economic development -- not housing -- when it was created in 1998, the state program would give a homeowner forgiveness from property taxes and state and local income taxes through 2013.

Edelstein has been negotiating with Fay-Penn, which owns the land. He estimates it will take about $11 million to develop the site in the southwestern portion of the county and close to the fast-growing Morgantown, W.Va., area. Planning and zoning approvals are in place, leaving financing as a final hurdle, officials said...

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribunereview/news/fayette/s_501709.html

1 comment:

Larry said...

KOZ's have proven to be useless. In faCT, THEY HAVE PROVEN TO BE DETRIMENTAL.

THEY WERE DESIGNED TO PROMOTE NEW INDUSTRIES AND TO CREATE INDUSTRIAL TYPE JOBS.

UNFORTUNATLEY, ALL THEY DID WAS ALLOW CURRENT BUSINESSES TO ESCAPE THEIR PROPERTY TAXES BY RELOCATING IN THE KOZ. NO NEW JOBS, JUST A GREATER BURDEN ON RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY OWNERS.

KOZ'S SHOULD DEFINETLY NOT APPLY TO RESIDENTIAL DEBVELOPMENT.

LARRY ROBERTS