Burns informs Amazon CEO of Cambria County KOZ
Follows up on February effort to attract new jobs to area
EBENSBURG, July 18 – Weeks after working collaboratively to bring a first-of-its-kind Keystone Opportunity Zone to Cambria County, state Rep. Frank Burns has followed up on a prior effort by reminding Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos of the tax incentives the KOZ provides in exchange for job creation.
Burns, D-Cambria, initially contacted Bezos in February, urging Amazon to consider Cambria County as an expansion location after New York City officials rejected the firm’s 25,000 jobs that sport a $150,000 average annual salary.
With the KOZ added to the county’s economic development arsenal, Burns believes Cambria County offers an even stronger investment opportunity and reached out to notify Bezos of the new program’s existence.
“As a follow-up to my February letter inviting you to consider Cambria County, Pa., as an Amazon expansion location, I wanted you to be among the first to know of a powerful economic development tool that makes our county even more attractive to new businesses,” Burns recently wrote. “Pennsylvania recently designated up to 375 acres in Cambria County as a Keystone Opportunity Zone – meaning we now can offer substantial state and local tax incentives for companies interested in creating jobs in our area.”
Burns said with all the efforts he marshalled into obtaining the KOZ, which included bipartisan support and a boost from House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, who toured Burns’ district in May, it makes sense to take advantage of every KOZ promotional opportunity that presents itself. The Cambria KOZ is novel in that it allows for parcels smaller than 10 acres.
“We desperately need good-paying jobs in Cambria County – and jobs that have a $150,000 average salary sound pretty good-paying to me,” Burns said. “I fought hard to get this KOZ, but it does no good if we don’t market it to the outside world. I intend to do that, and Jeff Bezos is a natural start.”
Addressing potential naysayers, Burns added, “You never know unless you try.”