The Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act (“LERTA”) authorizes local taxing authorities to exempt from real estate taxation new construction in deteriorated areas of economically depressed communities and improvements to certain deteriorated industrial, commercial and other business property. Improvements eligible for exemption include repairs, construction or reconstruction, as well as alterations and additions. Under LERTA, the municipality designates an area as a deteriorated area by considering if the structures are unsafe, unsanitary and overcrowded, the lots are overgrown and unsightly, there is excessive land coverage, defective design or arrangement of buildings, streets or lots or if there is economically and socially undesirable land usage.
Many Central Pennsylvania municipalities are looking to encourage commercial and industrial development and are not aware of the benefits of a LERTA designation. Developers should consider partnering with municipalities to identify and create LERTA taxing districts for development.