Thirteen University City-based companies applied for a Keystone Innovation Zone tax credit this year, the highest number of companies to ever apply in the program’s seven-year history, said the University City Science Center‘s Kristen Fitch, who oversees the program. Last year, three companies applied for the University City credit and more than half of the $25 million state tax credit went unused.
The University City Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) tax credit awards tax credits to tech companies based in University City. Previously, only life sciences companies were eligible for the University City tax credit, but this year, the University City KIZ decided to make IT companies eligible as well. Fitch believes that’s why the number of applicant companies jumped by so much this year.
The KIZ is a partnership between Drexel University, Thomas Jefferson University, University of Pennsylvania, University of the Sciences, The Wistar Institute, BioAdvance and the Science Center, which runs the day to day operations of the tax credit program.
Companies can get a tax credit that equals 50 percent of the increase in their revenue since the previous year. Each company is eligible to receive up to $100,000 and can opt to sell their credits to larger companies. Last year, Apple bought $2.33 million worth of Pa. tax credits.
The program has awarded more than $3 million in tax credits to 30 companies since it launched in 2006, Fitch said, adding that no companies that have applied to the University City KIZ have ever been denied the credit. Fitch declined to share the names of the companies that applied for the credit this year, since their applications are still being processed. The credits will be announced in December.-30-