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Tamaqua nominated for Opportunity Zones program

Tamaqua borough is one of five Schuylkill municipalities nominated for the federal Opportunity Zones program, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Friday.

Also nominated are Tremont borough and Foster, Reilly, and Frailey townships.

Enacted by Congress in December 2017 as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Opportunity Zones program aims to generate long-term revenue for rural and urban low-income communities across the country by using tax incentives to foster private investment.

Sen. David G. Argall (R-Berks/Schuylkill) mentioned the challenges that many communities face. “Pennsylvania has many struggling towns and cities, both large and small, across the state. Since the 1950s, many of our local communities have struggled,” said Argall. “This new bipartisan initiative is designed to help employers create more local jobs.”

The importance of creating more local jobs was a key topic for Argall during last month’s Senate Appropriations Committee state budget hearings. Argall, who serves as a senior member on the committee, noted that many communities in his district continue to look for ways to rebuild.

“Breathing new life into old towns is a top priority of mine. I have witnessed firsthand communities such as Tamaqua and Jim Thorpe that have done just this and I believe that the Opportunity Zones program will help other local communities to do so,” he said.

Rep. Neal Goodman (D-Schuylkill) said, “This is very good news for Schuylkill County. Out of more than one thousand eligible communities, Gov. Wolf nominated five from our county for this new initiative. The Opportunity Zones will encourage private investment and create good-paying jobs.”

The U.S. Department of Treasury will have 30 days to review the governor’s submission of nominees for the program.