Monday, March 24, 2008

Full State Legislative Record Ignored in Article

Not surprisingly, there is no mention of state Rep. Peter J. Daley's co-sponsorship of legislation extending the state's Keystone Opportunity Zone program in the Herald-Standard article touting Daley's re-election quest:

Daley seeks 14th term in state legislature.

Guess he and others think that effort has just slipped under the radar of the local public.

Not here. We've focused on the tax-exemption program for quite a while now.

See our sidebar links to more info about this subject. Included in the material is a letter to state Representative Timothy Mahoney we've posted at Wake Up.

All of the incumbents seeking re-election and any challengers should be asked how they can support a tax forgiveness program that pits residential and business property owner against other property owners in the same county and town?

How can they justify even one house or business property going up for tax sale when others simply don't face that tax burden and the consequences for failure to pay (given hard times and continuing declining economic conditions)?

Each of them should have to face the public at these tax sales and actually pound the gavel themselves when the property is auctioned off for usually far below its actual value.

(Net the Truth Online)

Daley seeks 14th term in state legislature
By Christine Haines
Updated 03/23/2008 09:15:18 PM EDT

Daley is chairman of the House Commerce Committee, which oversees legislation and regulations for banking and financial services, economic development programs, the state housing finance agency and the state Securities Commission. Daley said that in that post he has guided a series of comprehensive reforms of the mortgage industry, including the creation of mortgage rescue funds to help homeowners facing foreclosure on subprime loans.

Daley said he also secured $500 million in funding for the missing link of the Mon-Fayette Expressway during last summer's state budget talks, as well as funding to continue development of the alternative energy industry and advocacy for Clean Coal development. He is a founding member of the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority.

He said he also created a tax credit program for stream improvements on farms and a jobs-related tax credit to lure the film industry to Pennsylvania. He also supported a new center for beef excellence being proposed for the Department of Agriculture.


Daley co-sponsor tax exemptions for some in KOZ
Don't forget Rep. Daley is a co-sponsor of new legislation that extends the state's Keystone Opportunity Zones program. The bill got out of committee recently, and may be taken up by the House after the holiday recess.

March 12 – Moving rapidly on the governor’s economic stimulus strategy, state Rep. Peter J. Daley, D-Washington/Fayette, chairman of the House Commerce Committee and Rep. Dick Hess, R- Bedford, minority chairman, called an expedited meeting of the committee to extend the life of the state’s Keystone Opportunity Zone tax abatement law.

It remains to be seen whether the legislation will pass unanimously in either the state House or Senate.

Meanwhile, residential and business property owners not located in a KOZ continue to face ever growing tax bills those with the KOZ designations don't have to pay up for some 7 to 10 years.

Taxpayers facing hard times and inability to pay face loss of home or business property in county tax sales.

Our tax dollars pay for state representatives to drive vehicles and eat at 5-star restaurants and relax at resort conferences along with some of the very people owning Fortune 500 companies and property receiving many of these tax exemptions and tax breaks.

How any of them can look us in the face when they return to their home districts, knowing property owners face tax burdens at threat of loss of home and business if they don't pay up is beyond comprehension.

They should all have to show up at the county tax claim sale and pound the gavel when such are sold for back taxes.

Notice when the KOZ extension bill comes to Fayette, if it isn't defeated in the General Assembly as it should be, who will line up to get the extensions. What excuse will be used for the failure to develop property already in the KOZs in the area for some 10 years already.

When is enough of these tax giveaways for some but not for all - enough?

Daley expedites governor's economic recovery plan

HARRISBURG, March 12 – Moving rapidly on the governor’s economic stimulus strategy, state Rep. Peter J. Daley, D-Washington/Fayette, chairman of the House Commerce Committee and Rep. Dick Hess, R- Bedford, minority chairman, called an expedited meeting of the committee to extend the life of the state’s Keystone Opportunity Zone tax abatement law.

Dennis Yablonsky, the state secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development, told the committee that 11 substantial economic development projects statewide were awaiting word on whether the KOZ program would be extended for another 10 years. The Rendell administration is trying to fast track a variety of new or renewed economic incentives to counter the slowing national economy’s impact on the state.

“The current KOZs have created and retained thousands of jobs and attracted billions of dollars in capital investments, and the continuation of the program is critical to our ability to successfully compete for job-creating projects with other states,” Daley said. “This revision of the current program will be more appealing to businesses and continue to stimulate and revitalize communities while creating jobs.”

The committee today unanimously reported out H.B. 2297, introduced by Rep. Cherelle Parker, D-Phila. Both Daley and Hess signed on as co-sponsors of the bill, along with 17 members from both sides of the aisle. The bill proposes to extend, expand and modify the existing Keystone Opportunity Zone program.

"Although the KOZ program has been very successful in attracting businesses to deteriorated sites in our Commonwealth, there are still a number of unused sites that could be utilized to attract jobs to our communities,” Hess said. “This bill allows the Commonwealth to focus on our unused sites if they need more time to attract development, and switch sites that are unlikely to attract business for new and more promising sites. I appreciate the opportunity I had to work with Chairman Daley on this important legislation."

The first part of the proposed legislation would authorize local municipalities and school districts to extend expiration dates of existing undeveloped property within KOZs. It would allow a local option to choose a seven-year extension for the subzone or grant a seven-year extension in which zone benefits would not accrue until a company locates within the zone, at which point zone benefits would be in effect for 10 years from the dates of occupancy.

The bill also would eliminate the sales factor from the KOZ apportionment formula. Since most sales from facilities in a KOZ are to customers not likely to be in a KOZ, current law unintentionally reduces the overall KOZ corporate tax advantage. This revision would improve the fairness and attractiveness of the program.

Parker’s bill also would authorize the swap of less developable properties within a zone and permit counties with no existing subzones to designate, with approval of local government and school districts, the designation of up to 300 acres of new subzones. Seven counties that have never participated would be permitted to designate a KOZ.

The last portion of the bill would grant the Sales and Use Tax exception for all building materials used in a KOZ. This revision would expand the sales tax exemption for building machinery and equipment to include construction materials used to construct a qualified building within a KOZ

The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.

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