Pat recognizes the importance of vibrant and robust cities and urban centers to the overall economic success to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

That is why Pat has proposed and supported initiatives and incentives that have encouraged investment and redevelopment of Pennsylvania urban cities.


As someone who grew up in the Allentown area and continues to live there, Pat shares the concerns of many Allentown residents over the tremendous struggles the city of Allentown has faced over the past four decades. Committed to finding a way to bring the city back to the prosperous and vibrant place it used to be, Pat sought to develop an alternative way to address the city’s financial struggles.

That is why Pat developed the first-of-its-kind tax incentive plan – The Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ) – as a way to level the playing field for distressed cities and allow them to compete with more attractive, lower-cost suburban properties, while also providing long-term benefits and revenues to the state. This was a 10-year endeavor from when Pat first started drawing up legislation until the buildings began to rise from the ground.

The one-of-a-kind, 130-acre Neighborhood Improvement Zone, permits tax revenues – except for property taxes – generated by new development to be put back into projects within the zone to continue and expand the redevelopment efforts.

This innovative alternative community development funding mechanism has already spurred more than $1 billion of new development investment in Allentown. It has created thousands of new jobs and more than $4 million in recurring property tax revenues for the City of  Allentown, the Allentown School District and the County of Lehigh.

It wasn’t long before this legislation became a model for other revitalization projects in other distressed cities and municipalities throughout Pennsylvania. This led to the creation of the City Revitalization and Improvement Zones (CRIZ), which has afforded a similar tax financing program to smaller cities in Pennsylvania with Bethlehem and Lancaster being awarded the first two CRIZs.

Understanding that the bedrock of a vibrant urban center is its neighborhoods, Pat has been aggressive to ensure that the state is a consistent partner with Allentown and its community groups in neighborhood initiatives. Through his leadership, Pennsylvania was a substantial financial partner in the Hanover Acres and Cumberland Gardens rebuilding initiative. Pat has executed on joint ventures between the state, private business and community development groups in the rebuilding of housing stock in some of Allentown’s most challenged neighborhoods. Pat has consistently served, through his senior staff, as an active resource for the 7th Street “Main Street” Corridor revitalization program.

One of Pennsylvania’s most valuable resources is its seemingly endless compendium of cultural and historical assets. Understanding this fact, Pat established the Legislative Arts and Cultural Caucus with the charge of bringing together members of the General Assembly and leaders in the arts and cultural community to advance the strength and value of these assets across Pennsylvania. He has advanced the charge of the caucus with tangible results for Allentown and the Lehigh Valley’s other urban centers by ensuring the state’s involvement in many arts and cultural capital projects including the Allentown Symphony, the Allentown Art Museum, the Lehigh Valley Heritage Center, the Civic Theater, The Divinci Science Center, Arts Quest and the Northampton County Heritage Museum.

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