KEYSTONE OPPORTUNITY ZONE (KOZ) / KEYSTONE OPPORTUNITY EXPANSION ZONE (KOEZ)
Several of Mericle's available properties in Hanover Industrial Estates are located in a Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zone (expiration 12/31/13). Companies that locate in one of these zones have almost all of their state and local taxes abated through the expiration date of the zone. Some taxes that are abated include:
- Local real estate taxes
- Pennsylvania's Corporate Net Income tax
- Pennsylvania's Capital Stock & Foreign Franchise tax
- Pennsylvania's Sales & Use tax (on purchases consumed and used by businesses in the zone)
Pennsylvania businesses relocating to a KOEZ must either: Increase their full-time employment by 20% within the first full year of the operation, or make a 10% capital investment in the KOEZ property based on their prior year's gross revenues. Eligibility for benefits is based upon annual certification. In order to receive benefits, any entity applying must be compliant with all local and state taxes and building and zoning codes.
A business relocating from outside Pennsylvania into a KOEZ is not subject to the relocation provisions. Such a business must simply own or lease real property in a KOEZ from which it actively conducts a trade, profession, or business, and obtain annual certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, through Governor Ed Rendell's Economic Stimulus Program and the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), offers a wide variety of grant, low interest loan, job training and tax credit programs to help businesses grow. Some of the state programs more commonly used by companies are listed below. For more information on these and other Pennsylvania programs, please visit http://www.newpa.com/.
- CUSTOMIZED JOB TRAINING (CJT):
This state grant program reimburses Pennsylvania employers for specialized job training for existing or newly hired employees. CJT funds can be used for consumable materials and supplies, approved contracted services, and relevant travel costs for local education agency project coordinators. Grant maximum is 75% of eligible costs for training new or incumbent employees. Trainees must be residents of PA and be employed in PA. Participating trainees must earn more than 150% of the current minimum wage, excluding benefits. Training must be guaranteed.
- JOB CREATION TAX CREDITS (JCTC):
This program offers employers a $1,000 state tax credit per full-time job, per year. A business may claim credits only after a job has been created. The Job Creation Tax Credit Program is available to eligible businesses who, within three years from a negotiated start date, create 25 or more jobs or increase employment by 20%. To be counted as new full-time employees under the JCTC program, new employees must earn an average hourly rate of at least 150% of the minimum wage, excluding benefits.