Northeastern Pennsylvania -
Legislation aimed at making new resources available to businesses as a way to attract major new investments to Pennsylvania and spur job growth was presented to Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday after Senate passage earlier this week.
H.B. 1059 would establish the Pennsylvania Economic Development for a Growing Economy (PA EDGE) tax credit program that would support targeted investments in key industries, including hydrogen production. The program will be separated into four components to attract industry into Pennsylvania communities.
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) said the vote reaffirmed the legislature’s commitment to economic development.
“PA EDGE is another investment in Pennsylvania that signals to the businesses community that Pennsylvania is open for business,” Ward said in a statement. “Such an investment will have a multiplier effect in revenue generation and job creation with regional outcomes across the Commonwealth and consists of $141.6 million in tax credits annually targeting various industries across the Commonwealth including hydrogen production, milk processing, and biomedical research.”
State Sen. John Yudichak (I-Luzerne/Carbon) said the bill would create jobs and invest in working families.
The package of tax credit expansion bills “…will help to continue to build on the historic economic growth we are experiencing here in northeastern Pennsylvania and will set the stage for transformative economic growth across a wide array of industries throughout the Commonwealth,” Yudichak said. “Specifically, the $30 million increase of the cap with the Local Resource Manufacturing Tax Credit Program will help secure good-paying and family-sustaining jobs for Pennsylvanians.”
The bill would address the manufacturing industry by increasing the cap on the Local Resource Manufacturing Tax Credit Program from $26.6 million to $56.6 million annually, while still ensuring that tax credits remain available for small project facility construction in the future. The new tax credits are designed to bring more high-quality jobs to the state, the senators said. Wednesday’s passage of H.B. 1059 means the Local Resource Manufacturing Tax Credit legislation, originally passed in 2020, would now fall under the PA EDGE package and provide $115 million in new tax credits annually.
“This legislation is one more step in the direction of bringing a generational investment to Luzerne County,” State Rep. Aaron Kaufer, a cosponsor with Yudichak of the original legislation.
H.B. 1059 would also create the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub Tax Credit program that would authorize $50 million in tax credits annually, not to exceed 50 percent of a facility’s construction costs. That program would support projects requiring a capital investment of at least $500 million and require projects to make a good faith effort to use local labor and create at least 1,200 permanent and new jobs.
A third component of the bill would establish a new Pennsylvania Milk Processing Tax Credit program supporting the state’s dairy industry, and would authorize $15 million in tax credits annually, not to exceed 25 percent of the capital investment. That tax credit would equal 5 cents per gallon of milk purchased and processed within Pennsylvania. It would require capital investment of at least $500 million, efforts to use local labor, and the creation of at least 1,200 permanent and new jobs.
Lastly, the legislation would create the Semiconductor Manufacturing, Biomedical Manufacturing and Research Tax Credit program that would provide $20 million in tax credits annually for semiconductor manufacturing and biomedical projects.
“This tax credit program is an exciting initiative that represents a tremendous opportunity for continued economic advancement and job expansion across northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne/Wyoming/Susquehanna/Wayne/Pike). “We must ensure good, family-sustaining jobs are accessible throughout our region, while pursuing new ways to foster greater workforce development.”
Senate Republicans noted that a 2020 law creating the Local Resource Manufacturing Tax Credit program led to Nacero Inc. committing to build a new $6 billion lower carbon gasoline manufacturing facility in northeastern Pennsylvania. In addition, a 2012 tax credit plan was a key part of Shell Chemicals’ decision to build its new $2 billion ethane cracker plant in Beaver County, which is expected to create at least 600 permanent jobs.