Following this week’s vote from Reading City Council, Mayor Eddie Morán says he is excited about the reauthorization of the CRIZ Authority.
In a statement Friday, the Mayor says the creation of the CRIZ (City Revitalization and Improvement Zone) and the NIZ (Neighborhood Improvement Zone) will surely spur economic development and job creation within the designated CRIZ area and will also likely uplift other parts of the city as well. The Mayor was pleased to see that City Council concurred, voting unanimously to support reforming the Authority.
One of the primary goals of CRIZ is to stimulate economic growth in underutilized urban areas. These zones provide incentives for businesses to invest in the community, which can lead to job creation, increased property values, and a stronger local economy. In some cases, this program can include provisions for affordable housing, parks and green spaces, or cultural amenities, which can improve the quality of life for residents in the area.
“Reconstituting the CRIZ Authority is the first step to a new dawn for economic development in the City of Reading,” said the Mayor.
“I’m very hopeful that the state legislature will award the CRIZ designation to Reading and we’ll be poised to move forward with revitalization and new commercial and residential developments. I’m grateful to those local leaders who agree to serve on the CRIZ Authority.”
The City Revitalization and Improvement Zone was created by Act 52 in 2013. It consists of an area designated by the CRIZ Authority of up to 130 acres. Within this zone, state and local taxes collected will be used to repay debt service and stimulate economic development.
After establishing a baseline for reported tax payments, any incremental increases – such as earned income tax, sales, corporate net income, and local taxes, will be used to fund the CRIZ. This allows developers to leverage other financial commitments to fund approved projects. This includes the payment of debt service on bonds issued for the construction, including infrastructure, site preparation, reconstruction, or renovation of a facility in the zone.
“The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Governor’s Office of the Budget administer the CRIZ program, and our local state representatives and state senator are advocating for Reading’s inclusion in the program,” said Morán.
“We are grateful to the state for establishing the CRIZ and realize that much of the funding will come from state taxes that are returned to the CRIZ. There is a lot of hard work ahead to make this a realty, but together we can make it happen; resulting in a better Reading.”