Walter L. Griffith Jr., the Republican nominee for Luzerne County controller, is not pleased with votes to put new properties in tax-free Keystone Opportunity Zones.
“The same players get all the breaks. … This has got to stop,” Griffith said.
Luzerne County commissioners on Friday removed Hollenback Park in Wilkes-Barre from a KOZ and replaced the 26.5-acre property with 37 new properties. On Thursday, Wilkes-Barre City and the Wilkes-Barre Area School District approved the KOZ switch.
The Wilkes-Barre properties will lose KOZ status on Dec. 31, 2010. KOZ properties are exempt from property, business privilege, mercantile and earned income taxes. Properties in KOZs from extensions or swaps only get the tax-free status when developed and occupied.
“I see the school district is looking to levy a tax increase on the taxpayers as well,” Griffith said. “Maybe if we would stop the corporate welfare and stop the giveaways, the money would be there to help all the taxpayers.”
Amen to that.
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