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LVEDC Letter to Oppose HB2188

By LVEDC Staff on July 1, 2014

Dear Pennsylvania State House Member or State Senator,

I am writing to on behalf of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation to urge you to oppose House Bill 2188, which freezes state economic and community development tax credits for 13 different tax credit programs for two years.

While we certainly understand the difficulties in balancing a state budget, these tax credits have proved to be invaluable tools in creating jobs and economic development in the Lehigh Valley. In just the last two years, at least 17 major relocation or expansion projects that have created 2,350 new jobs and $592 million in investment have benefitted from these economic development tools in Lehigh and Northampton counties.

Our geographic position on the eastern border of the state puts us in cutthroat competition with large states in the Northeast, including New York and New Jersey. In response to Pennsylvania’s success we have recently seen both New York and New Jersey increase their incentive offers to major economic development projects.

Removing these tax incentives from our economic development program is the equivalent of unilaterally disarming in our battle to win jobs and economic growth in the Middle Atlantic States. Each of these tax credits is being or has been utilized across the Lehigh Valley. They help support the redevelopment of brownfields sites, the operations of food banks, formation of high tech startups and are essential in luring new businesses to the Lehigh Valley and expanding our existing corporation.

These tax credits have been an integral part of the following expansion or relocations in the Lehigh Valley during the last two years: Bimbo Bakeries, Coca-Cola, Bethlehem Sausage Works, FedEx, Flexicon, Follett, Fuling Plastics, Kraft Foods, Lehigh Valley Technologies, QPSI, Yourway Transport, Westport Axle, Victaulic, Americure Rx, EcoTech Marine, Saladax and NFI. In total, they’ve helped to create at least 2,350 jobs and $592 million in investment.

The Lehigh Valley is consistently one of the state’s fastest growing regions. These tax credit programs are an essential driver of our growth. We fear that approval of this legislation will send a signal to companies and our competition that Pennsylvania is “closed for business.” I urge you to oppose HB 2188. If you want further information on success of these credits in the Lehigh Valley please contact me at 610-266-6775 or [email protected] Thank you very much for your attention and consideration.

Don Cunningham
President and CEO
Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp.

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