Making it easier to deliver on zones’ promise (letter to the editor)

by Eva Gladstein, Philadelphia Inquirer, July 18, 2014

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) has shown leadership in seeking to increase investment and job creation in the West Philadelphia Promise Zone by introducing the Promise Zone Job Creation bill. If passed into law, the measure would help Philadelphia – and the other areas with Promise Zones – recognize the full potential of this initiative by providing Promise Zone employers a credit against taxes of up to $3,000 per year for each Promise Zone resident they hire. Employers outside the Promise Zone would receive a smaller credit. In addition, Promise Zone businesses that invest in equipment, such as a bakery oven or printing press, would see a reduction in their federal tax bill.

Providing tax credits and incentives for employers is essential for achieving our goals to put people back to work. The bill would be a win for local employers, who would get financial incentives for hiring local residents and investing in their businesses; a win for Promise Zone residents because it provides them a leg up to find good, family-sustaining jobs; and a win for the entire Philadelphia region. Providing opportunity for some helps spur economic growth for all.

Eva Gladstein, Executive Director, Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity, Philadelphia,

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