The City Revitalization & Improvement Zone or CRIZ program is an economic revitalization initiative created  by a 2013 state law. Under it, certain state tax revenues generated by businesses and their employees within a designated zone in a city are returned to the city to underwrite new development. Some local taxes may be used as well. Lancaster became one of the first two CRIZ cities in December 2013. 

For an overview of the CRIZ, see A CRIZ primer: How does it work? The city of Lancaster has information on the program here


The program is anything but an urban handout. Cities have to jump through hoops to get the designation, and then they have to work just as hard to establish the groundwork for the new system.