Saturday, March 28, 2009

PA: Whose Statistics Show Fayette Gain from KOZ?

Everything is always rosey when conducting a report of report of findings, and the report is researched by an arm of your own agency.

So with the local Fayette KOZ program, the numbers are based on whatever the agency, in this case Fay-Penn, wants to base the numbers on.

If the report excludes the massive amount of additional state government monies that flow to the KOZ locations (under a variety of clever names for the freebie "grants" - the costs of the program to the taxpayers would rise dramatically.

Those costs would edge into the $400,000 expected to come in annually.

Another non-guarantee of the various companies receiving the tax-exemptions - state and local - is whether the company will move out after the exemptions expire.

Or possibly they will "threaten" to move out, like Duke Energy perhaps, if they do not receive more tax exemptions, under another name of course. And more state help for job creation, and so forth and so on.

That is exactly what has happened in Easton, we made a post about that previously.

Net the Truth Online

Fayette could gain $400,000 in new revenues
James Pletcher Jr., Herald-Standard
Updated 03/28/2009 12:42:57 AM EDT
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Some local communities can expect about $400,000 more in revenue when a tax abatement program expires in four years.

In the past decade, the Pennsylvania Keystone Opportunity Zone program has brought more than 550 new jobs to Fayette County and garnered more than $500 million in business investment.

Barry Seneri, Fay-Penn Economic Development Council economic development manager reported those statistics to the agency's board at its quarterly meeting Friday.

"The state has written new KOZ regulations,'' Seneri said, adding that part of those rules is a 7-year extension to the program, which would allow Fayette County to offer tax abatements to new companies through 2020.

KOZ initially offered tax abatements to companies locating in an area designated in the program during a 10-year-period.

"Most of the companies in the KOZ in Fayette County will see those expire in 2013,'' Seneri said, adding that the extension is not for companies currently in the KOZ.

"We have 25 companies in the KOZ, most of which will go onto the tax rolls in 2013. That will mean an annual increase in tax revenues of about $400,000,'' Seneri said. Broken down, the county will get about $300,000, the school districts $89,000 and the municipalities the balance.

"We have to get ordinances approved by the taxing bodies, the school district, municipalities and the county,'' in order to get the 7-year extension, he said. "We have contacted everyone expect the county and I have a good feeling about the initial meetings,'' Seneri said.

There are about 2,500 acres in the KOZ in scattered locations in Fayette County. Seneri said Fay-Penn would like to expand that by about 1,700 more acres under the extension.

He also explained that "raw land we own, we will have to start paying taxes on in 2014. Only developed land will be tax exempt.''

Meanwhile, Joe Podolinski, coordinator for the Fayette/Washington Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) announced that Washington and Jefferson College will receive $150,000 through the Keystone Innovation Starter Kit (KISK) program. The state is offering the money to colleges, universities and academic medical institutions statewide to recruit top faculty researchers in advanced knowledge areas.

"We have Penn State Fayette, California University and Washington and Jefferson in our KIZ region and I know all three applied for money from the $2.5 million the state made available,'' Podolinski said. "I'm disappointed that Penn State and Cal U did not get a grant but pleased that Washington and Jefferson did.''

Washington and Jefferson College was awarded the grant for its bioinformatics program. The funds can be used to hire faculty, build curriculum and build out lab space.

KISK is directly linked to the KIZ program, which provides funding for community/university partnerships to create jobs by transferring technology from the development to commercialization and encouraging entrepreneurship...

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