Yudichak Lauds Business Investment Bill in Budget Package

Wilkes-Barre, July 15, 2016 – Calling it a good way to boost the state’s economic growth, State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) today praised an item in the new budget that makes state grant and loan dollars available for shovel-ready business expansion projects.

The measure, which was amended in the state’s fiscal code, funds the state’s “Business in Our Sites” (BIOS) program, which invests state dollars in shovel-ready sites to spur economic development. Yudichak said lawmakers were able to re-capitalize the program by transferring $75 million from the state’s “First Industries” and “Building PA” programs.

“The Business in Our Sites program will allow us to make significant new investments in efforts to grow businesses and create jobs,” said Senator Yudichak. “As I work with business leaders from throughout our region on innovative ways to diversify and build our economy, it is helpful when we have additional state resources available to strengthen our efforts.”

“CAN DO has successfully used the BIOS program for the development of several projects including the Humboldt Industrial Park North and Humboldt Station,” said W. Kevin O’Donnell, President of the industrial and economic development corporation serving Greater Hazleton.  “As a direct result, millions of dollars of private investment was made and thousands of jobs created in Greater Hazleton.”

“In this fast paced, competitive business environment, the need for developed and shovel ready sites is greater than ever,” said Joseph Boylan, Vice President for Economic Development at the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce.  “The BIOS program is a vital resource to attract companies and drive economic development in our region.”

Administered by the state’s Commonwealth Financing Agency, Business in our Sites grant awards are limited to 40 percent of the financing awarded, up to $4 million. The program provides grant and loan investments to current and emerging businesses interested in locating, expanding and developing business sites in Pennsylvania. Up to a third of the program’s money can be used to provide grants.

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PA Budget Includes Coal Refuse Energy and Reclamation Tax Credit to Help Create Jobs and Restore Mine Lands

Harrisburg, July 15, 2016 – The recently enacted Pennsylvania state budget includes the Coal Refuse Energy and Reclamation Tax Credit Program to assist companies who create jobs and help restore mine scarred land.

For the first time in Pennsylvania history, the coal refuse electric generation industry will be eligible for a tax credit of $4 per ton of coal refuse. In the 2016-17 state budget, $7.5 million in tax credits will be available and that number will rise to $10 million in 2017-18. No company will be eligible for more than 22.2 percent of credits available in any year.

“The Coal Refuse and Reclamation Tax Credit will have a profound impact on Pennsylvania’s economy and environment,” said Senator John Yudichak (D – Carbon/Luzerne). “Coal refuse generation plants, like Panther Creek Energy in Nesquehoning, can leverage these tax credits with private sector funds to create more jobs, reclaim more land and produce more affordable electricity.”

Presently, the coal refuse electric generation and reclamation industry employs 3,800 Pennsylvania residents and the generation plants combined create 1,500 megawatts of renewable energy. The industry has removed approximately 200 million tons of refuse coal from mine scarred land in Pennsylvania.

“Panther Creek Energy and the coal refuse remediation industry are greatly appreciative of the General Assembly’s passage and the Governor’s signing of the Coal Refuse Energy Tax Credit legislation,” said Sean Lane, a representative from Olympus Power LLC, owner of Panther Creek Energy. “This signifies a deepening of the Commonwealth’s commitment to support an industry that cleans up the coal refuse piles in the anthracite and bituminous regions of our state. The program is also evidence of the continuation of our partnership with Pennsylvania as we address the environmental, human health and safety hazards posed by the refuse piles littering the Commonwealth.”