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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Elk & Clearfield County Officials Hope Governor Wolf's Rejection Of KOZ Status Doesn't Kill Data Center Projects Promising Hundreds Of Jobs

Elk County data center & three other projects denied KOZ status

By Katie Weidenboerner

DuBois Courier Express

Pennsylvania is cutting back one of its signature economic development programs.

The administration of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has sent rejection letters to Elk and Clearfield counties, as well as Philadelphia and Coatesville in Chester County that submitted applications to the Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ) program.
The deadline to submit this year’s application was Oct. 1.

Rejection letters began arriving at the end of November.

In Elk County, that tax-exempt status was going to be used to develop a multi-billion dollar data center campus that had the promise of bringing hundreds of new jobs to the region.

The county applied for the KOZ status for the property on behalf of DuBois-based Thea Development.

Commissioner Jan Kemmer said in a phone interview with the Courier Express Tuesday, “Of course, we’re disappointed. We’d like to have that big business here in Elk County. But hopefully he’ll (Wolf) come up with another plan.”

Margie Guido of Thea Development, the company in charge of developing the data center, said she remains hopeful that Wolf will review the decision and approve Elk County’s application so it can bring jobs to Pennsylvania.

Guido added the Clearfield County application was submitted by Clearly Ahead for another data center project, proposed to be located on 375 acres adjacent to the former Girard-Goshen Elementary School. She could not comment further as she is no longer involved in it.

The KOZ program provides sizable tax breaks in hopes of revitalizing abandoned, blighted or underused properties. It has long been touted by state and local officials as a success story.

Supporters say the program, which was created by Republican Gov. Tom Ridge nearly 20 years ago and has been periodically opened to new applicants, has helped create 10,000 jobs and spurred $1.5 billion in private development in communities that are often described as economically distressed.  Read  more...


Anonymous said...

He's just helping obumma screw every one he can before Trump takes over ! What a worthless tool !

Anonymous said...

Good! Now can we get the Taj Mahal in Coudersport back on the tax roles??? Level 3 went back on the tax roles and it's time for this property to join them. What about the Data Center Adelphia built and the Adelphia Tennis Center that is now Empereon? Also off the tax roles. Little Potter County -- poster child for corporate welfare! I own my property and I proudly pay my taxes every year with no complaints.

Anonymous said...

Those buildings are County kinda counter-intuitive to start changing taxes on yourself. Potter County isn't the poster child for Corporate anything. Got the Welfare part right though.

Anonymous said...

Why is no one paying taxes on those big properties?

Anonymous said...

everyone should pay some to support society ,but your political parties want to pick winners and losers depending on who supports them and to enrich themselves,families and friends

Anonymous said...

Actually 2:37 they are not county owned but are owned by the Housing Redevelopment Authority which keeps buying up more and more property and then it goes off the tax rolls.

Anonymous said...

What "role" are taxes playing in all of this? A lot of properties are on the tax ROLLS but not many taxes are in a "role". We all play a "role" in life, be it a good "role" or a bad "role". Some folks play a friendly "role" in life, others not so much. There are movie "roles" that actors strive for but a lot of folks strive for jelly and sweet "rolls" which cause different types of "rolls". They are known as "Dunlap Rolls". My "Rolls" Dun-lap over my belt after I eat too many jelly "rolls", sweet "rolls" and buttered "rolls". All of these "rolls" do play a "role" in our lives by causing excess belly "rolls". So let's keep things straight about our role in life, about our taxes that are on the rolls, don't eat too many rolls and just roll with the flow when we get steamrolled about an expanded explanation of our different rolls err, I mean roles.

Anonymous said...

Why do people like 703 have to make fun of others? That is a form of bullying and it is hanus so please refrain.