Tamaqua gets CRIZ status to help spur economic growth

Gov. Tom Corbett recently gave Tamaqua a CRIZ designation to help draw private economic development.   Contributed photo

Gov. Tom Corbett recently awarded the Tamaqua borough in Schuylkill County with a City Revitalization and Improvement Zone (CRIZ) designation as a Pilot Zone.

The CRIZ program gives under-utilized areas the opportunity to use state tax dollars to encourage private investment without unnecessary pressure on the General Fund. Upon receiving CRIZ assistance, the area collects local and state taxes from within the CRIZ area to repay the CRIZ debt while developing economic projects.

Ultimately, the economic area will grow into a re-established community.

The borough of Tamaqua, the Department of Revenue, and the Department of Community and Economic Development will coordinate to determine which projects are priorities. The departments will sort through the priority applications by using a set of guidelines.

The CRIZ program is designed to improve jobs for local residents, revive downtown areas and encourage growth in cities.

Corbett signed the CRIZ program into law in 2013.

The state Legislature approved the technical amendment mandating that the borough or township must have a minimum population of 7,000 and must apply for a Pilot Zone designation.

“Our local communities are critical to Pennsylvania’s economy,” Corbett said. “By creating a CRIZ Pilot Zone in Tamaqua, we are helping the borough attract new private investment to spur job growth.”

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