CRIZ in a nutshell…
CRIZ stands for “City Revitalization and Improvement Zone”. It is a designated list of parcels of up to 130 acres that have been earmarked to stimulate development of that area. In Pennsylvania, these “city” zones have been set up in Lancaster and in Bethlehem. Tamaqua has been very fortunate to continue to be a “pilot” program for CRIZ. Since Tamaqua is not a city, the acronym CRIZ in Tamaqua represents “Community Revitalization and Improvement Zone”. The program is administered by the State of Pennsylvania, but a CRIZ Authority was set up to administer the program locally in all three of the PA locations.
All business owners and contractors who operate in the designated CRIZ parcels are required by the State of Pennsylvania to file an annual CRIZ report (online only) by June 15th. There is no extension period for this online reporting. There is a fine assessed by the State for not filing this annual report.
A CRIZ report captures their specified tax information for the prior calendar year. Their first year reporting is considered their “baseline” year. Every year after that, according to the State Department of Revenue, certain taxes above that baseline will be transferred back to the local CRIZ Authority. The Authority will then utilize those funds to repay a debt service to stimulate economic development projects within the CRIZ.
CRIZ projects are preliminarily approved locally, but must have final approval from the State before being considered as an actual CRIZ project. CRIZ funds come back to the zone by means of acquisition, renovation and/or infrastructure. For example, if a business in a CRIZ pays $10 thousand in eligible taxes in the year it is established (their “baseline” year) and then the next year, they pay $11 thousand, that yields what is called a CRIZ “increment” of $1 thousand that comes back to the Zone.
For more information, call the Tamaqua Borough at 570.668.0300 and check out the link below.