City Council gets bill that would bring more immediate benefits to big tax breaks for developers

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown introduced the bill.

Pat Loeb
October 26, 2018 - 9:00 pm
Blondell Reynolds Brown

Mike Dunn / KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Philadelphia officials say the city has benefited greatly from a state program to spur investment by granting generous tax breaks. But a city councilwoman wants those benefits to include jobs for Philadelphia public school graduates. 

At this week's council session, Blondell Reynolds Brown introduced a bill requiring property owners applying for Keystone Opportunity Zone tax breaks to include their plan for hiring students from the School District of Philadelphia's Career and Technical Education programs.

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"If you're going to get this enormous opportunity on the economic development end, then we need to require you to do better when it comes to insuring that young people get in the pipeline of whatever is going to be happening in that Keystone Opportunity Zone," Reynolds Brown said.

KOZ's, as they're known, are exempt from all state and local taxes. In September, City Council approved a list of 68 properties to nominate for the designation, including parcels in the city's hottest neighborhood where a hotel is already under construction. The state is still considering whether to approve any of the properties. The new law would not apply to them.