Upper Burrell to reap tax windfall from the Westmoreland Business and Research Park
Additional tax money from the Westmoreland Business and Research Park in Upper Burrell will begin rolling in this year.
Jason Rigone, director of the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corp., recently told township supervisors that property tax money from the most recent park expansion no longer will be needed to pay off infrastructure improvements.
Rigone said the fourth phase of the park, which includes parcels now occupied by Philips Respironics and Forest Hills Transfer and Storage, was started in 2005.
The nonprofit development corporation, which runs the 540-acre business park that straddles Upper Burrell and Washington townships, needed to extend roads and install other infrastructure to prepare the land for development.
Upper Burrell, Burrell School District and county officials agreed to a tax-increment financing plan that would use property tax revenue generated by new development to pay off the $450,000 in debt assumed for the infrastructure upgrades.
Rigone said the TIF could have diverted tax revenue for as many as 20 years.
But with Philips Respironics and other businesses quickly snapping up the property, the debt has been fully paid. Rigone said all tax revenue in 2013 will be diverted back to the township, school district and county.
Because the last phase was located completely inside Upper Burrell, Washington Township and Kiski Area School District were not involved in the TIF and won't reap any additional tax benefits.
Rigone estimated the final phase generates $210,000 in annual property taxes. About 73 percent goes to Burrell School District, 18 percent to the county and almost 9 percent to Upper Burrell.
In all, Rigone estimated the business park generates $1 million in annual tax revenue.
Upper Burrell Supervisors Chairman Ross Walker said the business park has been a boon for the township: “We're glad to have the industry in the community.”
Walker said the $18,000 in additional tax revenue expected from the park this year adds up to about two-thirds of a mill of property tax revenue. Upper Burrell residents pay 10 mills of property tax to the township.
“That increased income will be wonderful for the township,” he said. “It helps us hold the line on not increasing taxes.”
The park houses about 23 companies and 3,000 employees. With about 250 developable acres of land, the park is just about full, with only a few small parcels that haven't been sold or optioned, Rigone said. With the slow uptick in the economy, he's hopeful those parcels soon will be developed.
The industrial development corporation is interested in expanding to nearby Alcoa-owned property, but there are no imminent plans to branch out, Rigone said.
Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 5 plead guilty to charges of luring, beating man at Harrison gas station
- Return of Verona’s Doughboy statue delayed
- Valley reaches out to brighten East Deer cancer patient’s holiday
- New Kensington-Arnold confronts ‘frightening’ budget situation
- Injunction postpones building demolition in Tarentum
- Harmar to consider offer to drill under township land
- Apollo residents urged to ‘take back community’
- Valley choir ‘shows’ off at Mills mall
- Bed and breakfast proposed at former Liperote Mansion in South Buffalo Township
- Kiski Area takes steps to moving football games
- North Apollo Church of God serves dinner, gives gifts to those less fortunate