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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: May 30, 2017 02:42 PM
From: Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Creation of Cultural Development Districts
In the near future, I plan on introducing legislation which would help municipalities establish, develop, promote and maintain areas of cultural significance by creating a cultural development district.

Currently, there is no mechanism in law for a municipality to designate an area as a cultural district of any kind. This legislation would establish a Cultural Development District program as a means to create jobs, reduce blight and revitalize distressed communities within the Commonwealth while simultaneously promoting the cultural and artistic significance of the designated area.

The arts often prove to be an important economic development tool, and offer important educational, social, health and environmental benefits. With the city of Pittsburgh a glowing example, promotion and celebration of the arts and a vibrant cultural life help to reinvigorate older communities that have fallen victim to urban sprawl.

Under this legislation, municipalities would be able to propose the establishment of cultural development districts which would have to be approved by the Department of Community and Economic Development. DCED would review the application and determine whether the proposed district meets the criteria for designation. If approved, businesses and residents within the district would be eligible for state tax exemption for and initial period of five years, followed by an incremental increase over the next four years until fully reinstated.

The goal of this legislation is to serve as a catalyst for the establishment of new businesses and housing that would result in increased residency, influence, jobs, economic activity and cultural identity.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.