HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett today announced that guidelines for the City Revitalization and Improvement Zone (CRIZ) program, which was created to support economic development and job creation, are now available to provide information for eligible cities interested in applying to the program.
In July, Corbett signed the CRIZ program into law in conjunction with the 2013-14 state budget to spur new growth in cities that have struggled to attract development, revive downtowns and create jobs for the residents in the regions.
"Economic development and community stability go hand-in-hand, and are both important pieces of Pennsylvania's economic recovery," said Corbett. "Through the City Revitalization and Improvement Zone program, vacant, desolate or abandoned space will be developed for commercial use, thereby creating jobs, increasing personal incomes, growing state and local tax revenues, reviving local economies and improving the lives of city residents and visitors.
"Pennsylvania's cities are regional economic centers filled with industry, history and heritage. Through the CRIZ program we are opening the door to new economic opportunities."
The legislation defines a CRIZ as an area of up to 130 acres, comprised of parcels designated by a contracting authority created by an eligible city or home rule county to spur economic development and job creation. This includes the redevelopment of vacant, underutilized or abandoned space as well as new development.
Cities eligible to apply for CRIZ designation include Altoona, Bethlehem, Erie, Lancaster, Reading, Wilkes-Barre and York. Delaware County, a home rule county, may apply for a CRIZ designation for the City of Chester.
The program, through innovative financing that will not place undue strain on the General Fund, will provide cities an opportunity to leverage state tax dollars to inspire private investment in under-utilized properties. State and local taxes collected within the CRIZ will be used to repay debt service to stimulate economic development projects within the zone.
The legislation permits up to two CRIZ designations and one pilot zone approval before 2016, then up to two CRIZ designations each year beginning in 2016.
CRIZ applications will be accepted between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30, and they will be reviewed by the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Department of Revenue and the Governor's Office of the Budget.
The guidelines published today are available on the DCED's website at www.newPA.com/CRIZ.
Media Contact: Jay Pagni, 717-783-1116
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor