KOZ Report Highlights Argall Recommendations

HARRISBURG – A recent Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) report on Keystone Opportunity Zones (KOZs) highlighted the need for several reforms championed by State Senator David G. Argall (R-29).

The report pointed out deficiencies in evaluating the effectiveness of the program. Argall introduced an amendment to the KOZ expansion law last year to increase oversight of the program by requiring the Department of Community and Economic Development to compile information about the number and types of jobs created.

The report also recommended that KOZs be located on deteriorated land rather than simply underutilized land. Argall sponsored legislation last year that would have sharpened the focus of KOZs by limiting the program to blighted properties. According to the report, more than 70 percent of KOZ acreage has not been developed.

“The KOZ program has been successful in bringing more jobs to Pennsylvania, but we can do more to ensure that our communities enjoy the greatest benefit from the program,” Argall said. “I am thankful that the LBFC vindicated many of the recommendations I made last year, and I am hopeful that the General Assembly can take action on these recommendations quickly.”

The KOZ improvement legislation was the result of Argall’s 2006 Ph.D. dissertation at Penn State, which featured an in-depth analysis of the program.

Argall also sponsored legislation in 2006 that prevented Pennsylvania casinos from taking advantage of KOZ tax breaks. The measure was included in the Gambling Integrity Act of 2006.
Contact: Nick Troutman
(717) 787-2637