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LVEDC Advocacy Helps Keep Tax Credits in Pa. Budget

By LVEDC Staff on July 1, 2014

On June 30th, the Pennsylvania House and Senate approved the Fiscal Year 2014-15 state budget. The $29.1 Billion spending plan is now awaiting Governor Corbett’s signature.

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The budget package does not contain the two-year hiatus on 13 different economic and community development tax credits contained in House Bill 2188 that passed the state House last week. LVEDC would like to thank Lehigh Valley businesses, local government leaders, economic development professionals and non-profits who joined the organization in opposing this damaging policy change.

In a letter composed by Don Cunningham and sent to the Lehigh Valley House and Senate members on June 24th, the LVEDC president and CEO noted the importance of retaining the tax credits in the agency’s efforts to spur economic development.

“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,” he wrote. “In just the last two years alone 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.”

Devoid of these economic development assets, Cunningham noted, our region is at a disadvantage. The Lehigh Valley’s geographic position on the eastern border of the state places the area in fierce competition with large Northeastern states, 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,” Cunningham said.

Each of the 13 tax credits have been an integral part of several key expansion and relocation projects throughout the Lehigh Valley in the last two years. Those projects include Bimbo Bakeries, Coca-Cola, Bethlehem Sausage Works, FedEx, Flexicon, Follett, Fuling Plastics, Kraft Foods, Lehigh Valley Technologies, QPSI, Yourway Transportation, Westport Axle, Victaulic, Americure Rx, EcoTech Marine, Saladax and NFI.

“These tax credit programs are an essential driver of our growth,” said Cunningham.

Click here to read the LVEDC letter in its entirety.

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