Roundtable highlights ‘opportunity zones,’ coming to Shamokin

SHAMOKIN – More efforts are underway in revitalizing the City of Shamokin. During a roundtable this week, U.S. Congressman Dan Meuser (R-9th, Dallas, PA) along with State Representative Kurt Masser (R-107th, Elysburg) discussed bringing what they call ‘opportunity zones’ to Shamokin and other parts of the 9th Congressional District.

Meuser says this effort is a top priority, and says the idea has been made possible by President Donald Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, “That allows for a private capital investment to be made, and receive a full tax relief  for leaving a capital gains investment in an investment within the region for a 10-year period.”

He says the roundtable was also held to foster engagement between business leaders and development partners to discuss paths to revitalization with a focus on the unique needs of the community.

Meuser says among the business leaders involved in the discussion are USDA leadership, “The state director from the USDA, as well as the regional director, both of which by the way were appointed by President Trump…both of which plan to be very helpful for bringing synergy, bringing loans and lending opportunities, and grants to worthwhile projects.”

Meuser says work towards this idea is ongoing, and the panel plans to meet again before year’s end. He says officials hope to have a time frame to present several projects within the next several months, but all political leaders have to be all in, “And that needs to be done out of Harrisburg as well. So competitive tax rates, minimal regulation, a very friendly government that is on the side of job creators, and we need more of that coming frankly from the Democratic caucus. We’ve got to keep healthcare costs low…quality and accessible, but at the same time, affordable.”

 

The other revitalization effort in Shamokin is battling blight removal, which Governor Tom Wolf announced during a visit to the city in April, promoting his Restore Pennsylvania initiative.

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