Harkins, Merski: More than $2.6 million in tax credits to spur investment in housing, job training, blight reduction for Erie

ERIE, Dec. 8 – Tax credits totaling $2.64 million under the state Neighborhood Assistance Program will leverage investments in projects to improve life for Erie residents, address blight and stimulate business growth, Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski announced today.

The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the tax credit program is especially helpful this year, as more residents are struggling because of the pandemic.

“The investments generated by these tax credits are going to deal with immediate needs facing our community – from addressing food insecurity and creating affordable housing to providing additional learning opportunities for kids from low-income households,” Harkins said. “This year, programs that address quality of life are especially important, and this new infusion of tax credits is going to spur investment that empower residents to overcome obstacles, gain greater independence and productivity.”

Merski agreed, saying, “In addition to assisting residents, the infusion of funding these tax credits will bring is going to change the landscape, quite literally, by helping to transform blighted, vacant areas into business-friendly, family-friendly spaces. Investments of this kind provide the catalyst for change that open the door to opportunities for our industrious small business community and hardworking families.”

The lawmakers said $1.82 million in tax credits will leverage investments from local businesses in projects to enhance area education and early intervention programs, bolster neighborhood safety and deter crime, provide job training programs, expand food assistance, supply pandemic safety equipment for frontline workers, create affordable housing, and reduce blight, among other projects.

In addition, $815,788 in tax credits will leverage investments in the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania, which serves the entire region.

The tax credits are part of a package of $36 million approved through NAP to support 214 community revitalization projects across the commonwealth. More information about the funding statewide is available here.

The NAP program is designed to encourage investment in distressed communities by providing tax credits to businesses that donate capital. The program can be used for projects such as affordable housing, education, charitable food, crime prevention and other long-term community revitalization. This year, the program also provided for COVID-19 and social justice related assistance.