Officials in the Hazleton area have embraced the ability to extend the benefits of the Keystone Opportunity Zone program by granting full tax abatement through December 31, 2017, for eligible properties.
As further evidence of the foresight of those officials and through the support of the commonwealth, CAN DO also was assigned one of 15 new subzones throughout the state, which will abate taxes in that 350-acre tract through December 31, 2019.
As a result, nearly 650 acres of land in CAN DO industrial parks have been granted tax-free extensions through at least the end of 2017 under the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s renowned Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ) program.
In the case of the new KOZ subzone, those sites are tax-free through the end of 2019. Available KOZ sites include both commercial and industrial land parcels, as well as many industrial buildings.
As in the past, when a company locates in a KOZ, it is exempt from paying most state and local taxes.
Eligible companies receive full abatements for state taxes including but not limited to: corporate net income tax, capital stock and foreign franchise tax, sales and use tax, bank shares and trust company tax, and insurance premiums tax. On the local level, companies locating in a KOZ do not pay local real estate property taxes for the life of the program.
Businesses in a KOZ receive priority consideration for state assistance through the Department of Community and Economic Development programs.
Projects in Keystone Opportunity Zones that are approved by the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) receive the lowest interest rate extended to borrowers.
There are even more advantages to locating a company in one of CAN DO’s KOZ properties.
CAN DO’s KOZ sites are just a few miles from the crossroads of Interstates 80 and 81 – two major superhighways that link Greater Hazleton to the northeastern United States. A few more miles from those roads are the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Interstates 84, 380 and 78.
Companies that take advantage of Greater Hazleton’s strategic location will find themselves within 300 miles of 25 percent of the nation’s population and production. The region is within a day’s drive of several major metropolitan areas, including New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Boston.
Perhaps most importantly, almost all of CAN DO’s KOZ properties are ready-to-build sites offering a great location combined with an available, skilled workforce.
And the tax-free advantages begin immediately once a project is approved.
Why CAN DO?
“CAN DO has nearly 55 years of economic development experience. We have created and operated multiple industrial and corporate parks, so we are very familiar with the infrastructure that companies need to thrive and grow,” said CAN DO Vice President of Sales and Marketing Joseph Lettiere. “We understand the importance of connecting industry with the community and being a resource to businesses so their operations remain profitable and they can continue to create jobs in our community. We realize the impact the KOZ has on a company’s bottom line and feel it is a tremendous incentive for businesses looking to expand or relocate to Hazleton.”
Indeed, numerous globally respected companies have already taken advantage of CAN DO’s expertise with the KOZ program. They include OfficeMax (lauded as the first KOZ success story in Pennsylvania), Gonnella Frozen Products, Inc., U.S. Cold Storage, Cargill Meat Solutions, Simmons Company, Network Solutions and Amazon.com. One of CAN DO’s most recent KOZ successes is candymaker Tootsie Roll Industries.
“These extended KOZ properties are expected to attract a lot of attention, so we strongly encourage those who are interested in taking advantage of these tax-free benefits to contact us immediately,” Lettiere said.