By Tim Sohn

News Eagle Correspondent

The Shohola Township board of Supervisors, March 14, approved a five-year property tax abatement program on improvements for businesses that move to Shohola.

Shohola is the first township to approve the abatement. Businesses who make improvements would receive a 90 percent tax abatement in the first year, 80 percent in the second year, 60 percent in the third year, 40 percent in the fourth year, and 20 percent in the fifth year. The initiative was spearheaded by Michael Sullivan, executive director of the Pike County Economic Development Authority and Chamber of Commerce.

Supervisor George Fluhr Jr. made a statement in support of the abatement program at the meeting.

"This tax abatement proposal is not some radical program. This is a tool to attract new jobs and businesses Ö Everyone talks about how we need new business and jobs, but when it comes down to doing something about it, everybody has been putting forth a lot of excuses. Pike County is losing our population. We have among the worst unemployment in the state, and property taxes are rising. I donít know how many times Iíve heard, Pike County is a horrible place for business. Itís time to change that dialogue," he said.

Sullivan added that 52 percent of county residents commute outside of the county to their place of employment daily.

The Shohola Supervisors meet on the second Thursday at 7:30 p.m., at 159 Twin Lakes Road.