Lancaster Is One Of Two Cities Tapped By Pa. For New CRIZ Economic Development Program

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Within a year, Lancaster city could see the first funding available under a new state program expected to spur economic development.

Gov. Tom Corbett announced Tuesday afternoon that Lancaster and Bethlehem are the first two cities selected for City Revitalization and Improvement Zones.

Lancaster’s application, submitted late last month, promised the program could stimulate $210 million in new investment during its first phase.

“With First Fridays, the burgeoning arts district, new shops and restaurants, there is a success here on which we can build,” state Sen. Lloyd Smucker said Tuesday at a hastily arranged press conference.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/937842_Lancaster-is-one-of-two-cities-tapped-by-Pa–for-new-CRIZ-economic-development-program-.html#ixzz2p0UKjTqW

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Corbett Signs Bill Creating City Revitalization Zones

Gov. Tom Corbett on Monday signed into law the bill that will give Reading and other Pennsylvania cities a chance to create so-called City Revitalization and Improvement Zones to attract new businesses.

The 130-acre zones will be funded with public bonds issued by a local municipal authority running the zone.  The bonds will be repaid by local and state tax revenue raised within the zone.

The law resulted in large part from the work of state Sen. Judy Schwank, a Ruscombmanor Township Democrat, who noted that the original bill sponsored by Sen. Lloyd Smucker, a Lancaster Republican, would have frozen out Reading.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=503396

Details Of Lancaster Revitalization Zone Program Are Unveiled

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Invoking the spirit of Ronald Reagan, Mayor Rick Gray summed it up best when he quoted the former president, “There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

That was the theme of a Wednesday morning press conference, where local elected officials and business leaders gathered to celebrate the passage of a bipartisan revitalization program that could deliver $100 million to Lancaster city.

“In an arena where the habitual reluctance of so many to reach reasonable solutions can be absolutely mind-boggling, today the story changes a bit,” said state Sen. Lloyd Smucker.

Surrounded by about 20 community organizers representing voters on both sides of the aisle, the Republican thanked his colleagues for months of hard work on the program, for which he has been a leading force.

Read more:  http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/870949_Details-of-Lancaster-revitalization-zone-program-are-unveiled.html

Bill To Boost Neighborhood Climate Could Freeze Out Reading

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two competing bills are being introduced in the state Senate that would expand Allentown’s Neighborhood Improvement Zone – unique and highly successful but also highly criticized – to other Pennsylvania cities.

One bill would include Reading; the other would not.

The prize for any city is the zones’ new ability to retain state personal income and sales tax revenue generated in the zone, using it to repay bond issues for demolition, infrastructure and even new buildings.

But both bills, in answer to charges that Allentown’s gains are the state’s losses, would limit how much state tax can be kept locally.

Sen. Lloyd Smucker, a Lancaster Republican, introduced the first bill in early May to authorize what he calls City Revitalization and Improvement Zones.  Its pilot program applies only to cities with 40,000 to 70,000 people.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=484975