New law will support redevelopment of blighted properties

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — A bill was signed on Tuesday to give municipalities a way to transform blighted properties into thriving parts of the community, according to Senator Judy Ward (R-30).

Act 61 of 2020 will allow local tax authorities to provide a tax exemption up to 10 years for any improvements and new construction on blighted properties. It focuses on both residential and non-residential uses.

According to Ward, the amount of exemption will decline from 5-15% per year before expiring after the 10th year.

The concept of this bill was first introduced in the 2013-2014 session by former representative Jerry Stern, who urged Ward to keep working on it following his retirement in 2014.

We have many properties throughout the region that have great potential for future use, but municipalities do not have the tools they need to ensure these buildings can be rebuilt or restored properly. This new law offers municipalities another pathway to rehabilitate these properties and transform these eyesores into vibrant parts of the community.

Senator Judy Ward (R-30)

Projects may be eligible for tax abatement if:

  • All zoning ordinances are observed
  • All code violations are cleared
  • The value of the property increases by at least 25%
  • The owner must pay any delinquent taxes related to the subject property

The law goes into effect in 60 days.

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