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Commissioners Approve Extending KOZ Benefits At Lots Targeted For Business Expansion

September 5, 2018

SCRANTON — All three of the required local taxing bodies support extending the tax-exempt status of about 24 acres of land in the Scott Technology Park to accommodate a proposed business expansion promising to create hundreds of jobs.

Following the lead of both Scott Twp. supervisors and the Lakeland School District board, Lackawanna County commissioners today voted unanimously to extend Keystone Opportunity Zone benefits through 2028 on two neighboring lots that Process Technologies & Packaging is targeting for a 407,000-square-foot, multimillion dollar expansion. The company, which produces cosmetics, operates an existing manufacturing facility at the technology park and plans to add 300 new jobs by growing there.

KOZ status exempts a property owner from a range of taxes — including property tax, the business privilege tax and taxes on net profits from business activity conducted within the zone — making it a powerful tool for attracting developers.

“In today’s market, in today’s economy, you would never attract these major developers without this instrument,” Scott Twp. Solicitor Richard Fanucci said of the KOZ designation. “These companies go nationwide looking for incentives ... and they are only going to locate where they get such incentives.”

The state Department of Community and Economic Development must grant final approval now that the township, school district and county have approved KOZ extensions at the lots, which otherwise would lose the benefits at the end of 2024.

Process Technologies hopes to close with the Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Building Co., the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce’s development arm, on the purchase of land at the tech park in the coming months, company controller Shawnna Giumento said.

Plans for the two-phase expansion include erecting two new buildings to house Process Technologies operations, a 201,000-square-foot structure during phase I and a 206,000-square-foot facility during phase II. The company would then close three other facilities it operates locally —warehouses in Olyphant and Waymart and a research and development facility in South Abington Twp. — and consolidate operations in Scott Twp.

In addition to the 300 new jobs created, about 60 people would be transferred from those sites to the expanded location, Giumento told Scott Twp. officials last month. She said Wednesday that the majority of the company’s workforce are Lackawanna County residents.

“This is going to be very, very good for Scott Twp.,” Commissioner Patrick O’Malley said. “(Process technologies’) investment is an investment in our employees in Lackawanna County.” Contact the writer: jhorvath@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9141; @jhorvathTT on Twitter

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