In an effort to put 7.64 acres back on the tax rolls, the fiscally responsible Falls Township Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution to remove the Keystone Opportunity Improvement Zone (KOIZ) designation from land at the Keystone Trade Center.
In essence, the resolution would remove KOIZ benefits from 112.86 acres at the former U.S. Steel property and add benefits to 105.24 acres, according to NorthPoint Development attorney Michael Meginniss.
“NorthPoint completed a land swap about 18 months ago,” Meginniss said. “We’re trying to clean up the KOIZ boundaries.”
The KOIZ removal would take effect if the Bucks County Commissioners, Pennsbury School District, and the state all voted in favor of the resolution. The county and school board are scheduled to consider the matter in October.
“None of these go into effect unless or until the state passes legislation, which is drafted and pending,” Meginniss told the board.
If the other taxing authorities approve the resolution, taxes would be effective retroactively beginning Jan. 1, 2023.
The initial 15-year tax abatement period took effect on Jan. 1, 2021, and is set to continue through Dec. 31, 2035.
While NorthPoint would not be required to pay real estate taxes as part of the KOIZ designation, the Falls Supervisors previously approved a payment in lieu of tax agreement which required the developer to begin paying 110 percent of the real estate taxes to each of the three taxing authorities in 2021.
The amount of real estate taxes could increase based on potential tax increases from each of the three taxing authorities, but not as a result of reassessments during the 15-year period.
The KOIZ designation would be comprised of the former Fairless Works U.S. Steel site, which first opened in 1952. The site closed in 2001 and has largely sat vacant ever since.
The multiple phase project consists of constructing 20 or more state-of-the-art industrial warehouse buildings spanning 15 million square feet. Once complete, the development is expected to provide an estimated 7,000 new permanent jobs and an additional 5,500 construction jobs.
NorthPoint is constructing several buildings simultaneously, including building 1, which spans 1,159,849 square feet. The developer announced recently that the building would be the newest distribution center for a major transportation company.