Senate Approves New Tool to Support Redevelopment of Blighted Properties

HARRISBURG – Municipalities would have a new tool to transform blighted properties into thriving parts of the community under a bill approved by the Senate today, according to the bill’s author, Senator Judy Ward (R-30).

Senate Bill 352 would allow local taxing authorities to provide a tax exemption for up to 10 years for any improvements and new construction on blighted properties. The bill focuses on mixed-use redevelopment including both residential and non-residential uses, in order to support the development of more vibrant communities, Ward said.

“A number of blighted properties throughout the state hold great potential for future use, and this bill can play a role in helping to regenerate these properties and improve the quality of life for local residents,” Ward said. “The bill would not create any sort of new mandate. It would simply give municipalities another option to rehabilitate the abandoned and dilapidated properties that create a dangerous eyesore in the community.”

Projects would only be eligible for the tax abatement if all zoning ordinances are observed, all code violations are cleared, and the value of the property increases by at least 25 percent. In addition, the property owner must pay any delinquent taxes related to the subject property, and projects that receive any other property tax abatement or relief from local or state programs would be ineligible to participate in the new tax abatement program

Senate Bill 352 is supported by the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania. The bill was sent to the House of Representatives for its consideration.

CONTACT:   Cheryl Schriner (717) 787-5490

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