WILKES-BARRE — New jobs and more investment are coming to Northeast Pennsylvania after the Senate voted to create and expand tax credit programs to support targeted investments in key branch.

House Bill 1059 would create new resources for job growth through the newly created Pennsylvania Economic Development Tax Credit for a Growing Economy (PA EDGE) program.

The program will have four components to attract major new investment to Pennsylvania communities.

A key component of House Bill 1059 is to increase the Local Resource Production Tax Credit program cap from $26.6 million to $56.6 million annually, while ensuring that tax credits remain available for construction of a smaller project facility in near future.

The new tax credits are designed to build on Pennsylvania’s success in creating high-quality jobs in the state.

Act 66, the Local Resource Production Tax Credit Program, was sponsored by Sen. Judichak, I-Swoyersville, and Rep. Aaron Kaufer, R-Kingston, and was enacted in 2020 to provide tax incentives for petrochemical and fertilizer production in the Commonwealth.

With the passage of House Bill 1059, the Local Resource Production Tax Credit legislation will now fall under the PA EDGE package and will provide $115 million in new tax credits annually and has the following parameters:

• Expands the existing petrochemical and fertilizer production tax credit from $26,666,668 to $56,666,668.

• Taxpayer eligible for lower tax credit must invest $400 million in capital and create 800 new and permanent jobs.

• A taxpayer eligible for the larger tax credit must invest $1 billion in capital and create 1,800 new and permanent jobs.

“The package of tax credit expansion bills passed today will help continue to build on the historic economic growth we’re experiencing here in Northeast Pennsylvania and set the stage for transformative economic growth in a wide range of industries across the commonwealth,” Judichak said. . “In particular, the $30 million increase in the Local Resource Production Tax Credit cap will help provide good-paying, family-supporting jobs for Pennsylvanians. Today’s PA EDGE Act invests in Pennsylvania’s working families.”

Even before the expansion of the program was completed, the local production tax program was already having a significant impact, as it led to Nacero Inc. has committed to building a new $6 billion low-carbon gasoline facility in northeastern Pennsylvania.

“This legislation is another step toward attracting generations of investment to Luzerne County,” Kaufer said. “Nacero offers the greatest economic opportunity our region has ever seen and will make Northeastern Pennsylvania the epicenter of the clean energy revolution.”

“This tax credit program is an exciting initiative that represents an excellent opportunity for further economic development and job growth in Northeast Pennsylvania,” added Baker, R-Lehman Township. “We must ensure that good, family-supporting jobs are available throughout our region while finding new ways to further develop our workforce.”

Warren Faust, president of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Construction Trades Union, said the tax credit also helps advance major labor issues such as prevailing wage rates and allows Pennsylvania to provide more than 200 million construction hours for Pennsylvania construction company unions on projects that will transform Pennsylvania communities with thousands of jobs.”

Judichak, Baker and Kaufer said state senators David Argall, John Gordner and Marty Flynn, and state representatives Robert Schnee, Eddie Day Paszynski, Mike Carroll, Karen Bobak and Gerald Mallery were instrumental in passing the PA EDGE Act.

Access to victims of Kaufer’s crimes the law awaits the governor’s signature

Representative Aaron Kaufer, R-Kingston, announced that his legislation, which focuses on the rights of crime victims, is on its way to Gov. Tom Wolf’s signature after final approval by the House.

Kaufer, a 2019 Victims’ Rights Award winner, sponsored the bill, which aims to address the glaring disparity between offenders and their victims.

“At a time in our nation’s and state’s history when crime is on the rise, it’s time for the scales of justice to balance the rights of crime victims,” ​​Kaufer said. “This legislation will give crime victims access to information that was once unavailable to them when they need to file a civil lawsuit.”

House Bill 2525 makes it easier for victims of crimes to obtain relevant information obtained by law enforcement agencies during a crime investigation so that they can potentially use that information in subsequent civil lawsuits to recover damages for their injuries.

“I would also like to thank Senator Lisa Baker for her advocacy on this important issue,” Kaufer said. “Her support was critical to the passage of this law.”

“Representative Kaufer’s bill greatly assists district attorneys in removing barriers that have historically prevented crime victims from seeking justice in civil court,” said Sam Sangedolce, Luzerne County District Attorney. “His legislation recognizes the importance of bipartisan efforts to help victims heal because true justice for crime victims often does not end with a criminal conviction. Where victims are eligible for monetary relief, we as District Attorneys should be allowed to share evidence that would lead to such recovery. It’s important to note that this bill also allows us to keep confidential information that, if released, would harm victims, investigations, and society at large. On behalf of law enforcement and prosecutors across the state, I would like to thank Representative Kaufer and his colleagues for their hard work on this vital piece of legislation.”

Once a bill reaches the governor’s desk, he has 10 days to sign it into law, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature. If signed, House Bill 2525 would take effect in 180 days.

Pashynski, Malery: $5.35 million in RACP grants awarded for landscaping projects

Four projects throughout Luzerne County have received approval for funding from the state’s Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program totaling $5.35 million, according to state Reps. Eddie Day Pashinski and Gerald Malleri.

“Each of these projects is a worthwhile investment in the economic success and quality of life in our communities,” said Paszynski, D-Wilkes-Barre. “These projects, whether they’re improving agriculture, improving higher education, or promoting local arts, are all not only important, but will have a lasting impact on our region.”

“Investments like this are essential to making Luzerne County a thriving place for businesses to grow and families to live,” said Mallery, D-Newport. “At a time when our region’s economy needs a boost, I’m excited to see this long-term investment coming to our area.”

According to Pashinsky and Malera, the following organizations receive funding in their districts:

• Wilkes University – $2.5 million for ADA-compliant renovations of the Dorothy Dixon Darte Center.

• Upward Farms – $1 million for the purchase and installation of plumbing, mechanical and electrical upgrades to the base building, and the purchase and installation of an aquaculture system.

• Wyoming Valley Art League – $750,000 for renovations and additional projects at the Circle Center for the Arts.

• IBEW Local 163 JATC – $600,000 to increase indoor and outdoor space to meet growing demand in the electrical engineering training program.

• King’s College – $500,000 to renovate Corgan Library.

Baker is working on simplifying the grantor fiduciary process for Pennsylvania taxpayers

The Pennsylvania Senate unanimously passed legislation to simplify and streamline the process for irrevocable grantor trusts, according to Sen. Lisa Baker, R-Lehman Township, who introduced the measure.

An irrevocable trust is a type of trust that cannot be changed, amended, or terminated without the permission of the beneficiaries of the trust. Such trusts are often created by someone as a means of reducing taxes and protecting property.

In many cases, the person setting up the trust wants to pay income tax so that the beneficiaries of the trust are not adversely affected. Senate Bill 1321 would remove the current barrier, allowing grantmakers to meet this obligation if they choose to do so.

“This option has been available at the federal level for decades, and we are the only state that does not allow a grantor to pay income taxes that may be due,” Baker said. “We hope this legislation will increase our competitiveness and encourage trusts here in Pennsylvania, while simplifying the process for taxpayers.”

Baker noted that the bill was developed and supported by the Joint State Government Commission on Inheritance Legislation Advisory Committee.

Senate Bill 1321 is sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Bobak’s bill on renaming the bridge in Art honor of veterans, operators

A bill to rename a Wyoming County bridge after local veterans and first responders was sent to the governor for his signature after its unanimous final approval by the House on Tuesday, sponsored by Rep. Karen Bobak, R-Harveys Lake.

“As the majority chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, I understand well the sacrifices made by our veterans and first responders,” Bobak said. “Now everyone who travels over this bridge will be forever reminded of their contribution to our country and society.”

Bobak’s opinion identifies the bridge, which spans State Route 29 over the Susquehanna River in Tunkhannock Township and Eaton Township, Wyoming County, as the “Wyoming County Veterans and First Responders Bridge of Valor.”

The bill also directs PennDOT to erect and maintain signs in both directions bearing the bridge’s new name.

Bobak’s legislation was one of two dozen bridge or highway renaming proposals included in House Bill 2637.

Contact Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.