Friday, July 11, 2008
Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell signed into law Thursday a bill that increases incentives for redevelopment of underused land and old industrial sites. The law extends and expands tax abatement on these lands which are called Keystone Opportunity Zones (KOZ). KOZ lands are designed by communities and require approval on the state, county, and local level. The new law allows for the creation of 15 more KOZs, expansion of existing ones, and extends the expiration date of those unoccupied by 7-10 years. Department of Community and Economic Development spokesman Steven Weitzman says the KOZs encourage developers to develop quickly in areas where development is much needed. He also says that the benefits of development in these areas exteneds beyond their given boundaries to their surrounding areas, as well. There are currently 12 Keystone Opportunity Zones throughout the state.