Keystone Opportunity Zones are specific commercial or industrial areas with greatly reduced or no tax burden for property owners, residents, and businesses throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first KOZs were established in 1999 by the Pennsylvania State Legislature and signed into law by former governor Tom Ridge. KOZs are still being supported by continuing acts of the of the state legislature.
The zones are located throughout Pennsylvania in 12 separate regions: Northwest, Southwest, North Central, Southern Alleghenies, Northern Tier, Central, South Central, Lackawanna / Luzerne, Schuylkill / Carbon, Lehigh Valley, Southeast, and Philadelphia. Westmoreland County is located in the Southwestern Pennsylvania region.
Since the KOZ program's inception in 1999, it has led to the creation of new jobs and produced capital investment in real estate. As a result, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has authorized additional rounds of KOZ designations. These new areas are often referred to as Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zones or KOEZs. Westmoreland's original KOZs and KOEZs expired on December 31st of 2010 and 2013. However, the county's most recent designations located near New Stanton will remain in effect until 2022.