(Photo by Flickr user Governor Tom Wolf, used under a Creative Commons license)
The process of reaching an agreement on a state budget is in full swing in Pennsylvania and folks across the Commonwealth are hoping state legislators can get there faster this year than they have the past two.
This is a lean budget year and the state is working with a $600 million deficit. That being said, the fate of two state economic development programs geared toward revitalizing underserved communities are on the tongues of legislators, according to a report from WHYY’s Keystone Crossroads.
In the waning days of 2016, Governor Tom Wolf approved $17.8 million in tax credits for the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP), a tax incentive that puts the state in a position to forge partnerships between community-based nonprofits in low-income neighborhoods and businesses. The future of that program is looking rosy.
The future of Keystone Opportunity Zones (KOZ), on the other hand, is looking bleak. The program aims to fund revitalization by exempting owners of properties in underperforming neighborhoods from state and local taxes. KOZs were expanded last year, but the governor’s spokesperson Jeff Sheridan told WHYY the program might not receive the same treatment this time around.
The vast majority of the almost 150 properties that take advantage of KOZ incentives are in South and West Philadelphia — here’s a nifty map of all KOZ properties in Philadelphia. Those properties include Brandywine Realty buildings in University City such as the Cira Centre, as well as a number of government offices such as the Department of Records and a branch of the IRS.-30-
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