City of Washington, PA
Washington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 9-9-2010 by Ord. No. 1837]
A. 
The Council of the City of Washington does hereby authorize a tax exemption pursuant to the "Improvement of Deteriorating Real Estate Property or Areas Tax Exemption Act."[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 72 P.S. § 4711-101 et seq.
B. 
The boundaries of the deteriorated neighborhood or neighborhoods within the City of Washington shall include all of the property situate in the City of Washington for the purposes of said tax exemption.
C. 
A joint public hearing was held by the Mayor and Council for the City of Washington and by the Board of School Directors of the Washington School District concerning the location of boundaries of a deteriorating area or areas. Said public hearing was held on March 8, 2010.
D. 
Based upon the information provided at said public hearing, the City of Washington has determined that the aforesaid boundaries of a deteriorated neighborhood and neighborhoods is appropriate under the circumstances and that it is hereby established by the City of Washington that said boundaries will constitute the areas for said tax exemption.
E. 
The criteria for the determination of said boundaries included, considering unsafe, unsanitary and overcrowded buildings; vacant, overgrown and unsightly lots of ground; a disproportionate number of tax delinquent properties; excessive land coverage, defective design or arrangement of buildings, street or lot layouts; economically and socially undesirable land uses.
F. 
The tax exemption is hereby established by the City of Washington as a tax exemption on the assessment attributable to the actual cost of improvements up to the maximum cost per dwelling unit as allowed by law. For the first, second and third year for which improvements would otherwise be taxable, 100% of the eligible assessment shall be exempted. After the third year, the exemption shall terminate. The exemption from taxes shall be limited to the additional assessment valuation attributable to the actual costs of improvements to deteriorated property not in excess of the maximum cost for dwelling units specified herein. The maximum cost shall be $10,000 per dwelling unit for improvements constructed during 1971; and for years thereafter shall be the maximum cost for the preceding year multiplied by the ratio of the United States Bureau of the Census New One-Family Houses Price Index for the current year to such index for the preceding year. The date of construction shall be the date of issuance of the building permit, improvement, record or other required notification of construction. No tax exemption shall be granted under the provisions of this article for any improvements to any dwelling unit in excess of the maximum cost specified above.
G. 
The City of Washington hereby establishes that the date of the construction or improvement shall be the date of issuance of the building permit, improvement record or other required notification of construction. No tax exemption shall be granted under the provisions of this article and pursuant to the Improvement of Deteriorating Real Property or Areas Tax Exemption Act[2] for any improvement to any dwelling unit in excess of the maximum cost specified herein.
[2]
Editor's Note: See 72 P.S. § 4711-101 et seq.
H. 
The exemption from taxes authorized by this article shall be upon the property exempted and shall not terminate upon the sale or exchange of the property.
I. 
In addition to the application form to be provided by the City of Washington, the application must be accompanied by an affidavit by the applicant/owner of the subject property indicating that said applicant/owner has, in respect to all properties owned, whether all or in part, by applicant/owner in any form of entity in the City of Washington, paid all real estate taxes, earned income taxes, occupational privilege taxes, business privilege taxes, mercantile license taxes, per capita taxes, public water and sewage bills (issued by the Washington/East Washington Joint Authority), solid waste charges, and all other fees, assessments, claims or fines imposed by the City of Washington or any department or agency thereof which are delinquent or due at the time said application for exemption is made. See Exhibit A for the form of affidavit.[3]
(1) 
In addition, said applicant/owner shall provide evidence of said payments as requested by the City of Washington Code Enforcement Officer or other representative designated by the local taxing authority.
(2) 
In the event that it is discovered that said applicant/owner at the time of said application has any unpaid real estate taxes, earned income taxes, occupational privilege taxes, business privilege taxes, mercantile license taxes, per capita taxes, public water and sewage bills (issued by the Washington/East Washington Joint Authority), solid waste charges, and all other fees, assessments, claims or fines imposed by the City of Washington or any department or agency thereof which are due at the time of said application, concerning all properties owned, whether all or in part, by applicant/owner in any form of entity in the City of Washington, the request for exemption shall be denied, and the applicant/owner shall not receive a tax exemption pursuant to this article.
(3) 
In addition, if at any time during the period of tax abatement pursuant to this article an applicant/owner should become delinquent for any of the aforesaid taxes, claims or other charges, said relief and/or tax abatement provided herein shall automatically terminate on the date said taxes, claims or other charges become delinquent, and from and after said date, the applicant/owner of such property shall be liable for all taxes upon the subject property, including the amount abated pursuant to this article.
[3]
Editor's Note: Exhibit A is one file in the City's office.
J. 
Any person desiring a tax exemption pursuant to this article shall apply to the City Washington Code Enforcement Officer in writing on a form provided by the City of Washington within 60 days of the date that the person desiring the tax exemption secures a building permit, or if no building permit or other notification of improvement is required, within 60 days of the date the person commences construction. No application shall be accepted or approved which is submitted more than 60 days after the expiration of this article. A copy of the exemption request shall be forwarded to the Director of District Operations of the City of Washington and the Washington County Board of Assessment and Revision of Taxes or other appropriate assessment agency. The person applying for the exemption shall, within 60 days of the completion of construction, notify the assessment agency of the completion of the improvement. The assessment agency shall assess separately the improvement and calculate the amounts of the assessment eligible for tax exemption in accordance with the limits established herein and notify the taxpayer, the City of Washington Code Enforcement Officer, the Director of District Operations of the City of Washington and the Board of Assessment and Revision of Taxes of Washington County of the reassessment and the amounts of the assessment eligible for exemption.
K. 
The cost of improvements per dwelling unit to be exempted and the schedule of taxes exempted existing at the time of the initial request for tax exemption shall be applicable to that exemption request, and subsequent amendments to this article, if any, shall not apply to requests initiated prior to their adoption.
L. 
For purposes of this article, the following definitions shall apply:
DETERIORATED PROPERTY
A dwelling unit located in a deteriorated neighborhood, as hereinafter provided, or a dwelling unit which has been or upon request is certified by a health, housing or building inspection agency as unit for human habitation for rent withholding, or other health or welfare purposes, or has been the subject of an order by such an agency requiring the unit to be vacated, condemned or demolished by reason of noncompliance with laws, ordinances or regulations.
DWELLING UNIT
Unless otherwise defined in the ordinance or resolution providing for tax exemption, a house, apartment, or group of rooms intended for occupancy as separate living quarters by family or other groups or a person living alone, containing a kitchen or cooking equipment for the exclusive use of the occupants.
IMPROVEMENT
Repair, construction or reconstruction, including alterations and additions, having the effect of rehabilitating a structure so that it becomes habitable or attains higher standards of housing safety, health of amenity, or is brought into compliance with laws, ordinances or regulations governing housing standards; ordinary upkeep and maintenance shall not be deemed an improvement.
A. 
Pursuant to the Improvement of Deteriorating Real Property or Areas Tax Exemption Act, 72 P.S. § 4711-301 et seq., the City of Washington does hereby authorize a tax exemption pursuant to said Act for areas determined by the City of Washington, as set forth herein, to be physically blighted.
B. 
The tax exemption which is the subject of this tax abatement program shall apply to physically blighted areas within the City of Washington, as designated herein, as the Mayor and Council of the City of Washington have determined, where one or more of the following apply:
(1) 
The residential buildings, by reason of age, obsolescence, inadequate or outmoded design or physical deterioration have become economic and/or social liabilities.
(2) 
The residential buildings are substandard or unsanitary for healthful and safe living purposes.
(3) 
The residential buildings are overcrowded, poorly spaced, or are so lacking in light, space and air as to be conducive to unwholesome living.
(4) 
The residential buildings are faultily arranged, cover the land to an excessive extent or show a deleterious use of land, or exhibit any combination of the above which is detrimental to health safety or welfare.
(5) 
A significant percentage of buildings used for residential purposes is more than 20 years of age.
(6) 
A substantial amount of unimproved, overgrown and unsightly vacant land exists which has remained so for a period of five years or more, indicating a growing or total lack of utilization of land for residential purposes.
(7) 
A disproportionate number of tax-exempt or delinquent properties exists in the area.
C. 
The boundaries of the deteriorated neighborhood or neighborhoods within the City of Washington shall include all of the property situate in the City of Washington for the purposes of said tax exemption.
D. 
A joint public hearing was held by the Mayor and Council for the City of Washington and by the Board of School Directors of the Washington School District concerning the location of boundaries of a deteriorating area or areas. Said public hearing was held on March 8, 2010.
E. 
Based upon the information provided at said public hearing, the City of Washington has determined that the aforesaid boundaries of the deteriorated areas are appropriate under the circumstances, and it is hereby established by Council for the City of Washington that said boundaries will constitute the deteriorating areas for said tax exemption.
F. 
The tax exemption shall be limited to the assessment valuation attributable to the total cost of construction of the new dwelling unit. The exemption shall commence in the tax year immediately following the year in which the building permit is issued.
G. 
The exemption from taxes authorized by this program shall be upon the newly constructed dwelling unit or units exempted and shall not terminate upon the sale or exchange of the property, unless otherwise provided in this article.
H. 
For the first, second and third year for which said newly constructed dwelling unit or units would otherwise be taxable, 100% of the eligible assessment shall be exempted; after the third year, the exemption shall terminate.
I. 
The City of Washington hereby establishes that the date of construction shall be the date of issuance of the building permit.
J. 
If a property containing new residential construction is granted tax exemption pursuant to this program, the property shall not, during the exemption period, be considered as a factor in assessing the value of other properties in the same area.
K. 
Any person desiring a tax exemption pursuant to this article shall apply to the City of Washington Code Enforcement Officer in writing on a form provided by the City of Washington within 60 days of the date that the person desiring the tax exemption secures a building permit, or if no building permit or other notification of improvement is required, within 60 days of the date the person commences construction. No application shall be accepted or approved which is submitted more than 60 days after the expiration of this article. A copy of the exemption request shall be forwarded to the Director of District Operations of the Washington School District, the Washington City Clerk and the Washington County Board of Assessment and Revision of Taxes, or other appropriate assessment agency. The person applying for the exemption shall, within 60 days of the completion of construction, notify the assessment agency of the completion of the improvement. The assessment agency shall assess separately the improvement and calculate the amounts of the assessment eligible for tax exemption in accordance with the limits established herein and notify the taxpayer, the City of Washington Code Enforcement Officer, the Director of District Operations of the Washington School District and the Board of Assessment and Revision of Taxes of Washington County of the reassessment and the amounts of the assessment eligible for exemption.
(1) 
In addition, said applicant/owner shall provide evidence of said payments as requested by the City Clerk or other representative designated by the local taxing authority.
(2) 
In the event that it is discovered that said applicant/owner, at the time of said application, has any unpaid real estate taxes, earned income taxes, occupational privilege taxes, business privilege taxes, mercantile license taxes, per capita taxes, public water and sewage bills (issued by the Washington/East Washington Joint Authority), solid waste charges, and all other fees, assessments, claims or fines imposed by the City of Washington or any department or agency thereof, which are due at the time of said application, concerning all properties owned, whether all or in part, by applicant/owner in any form of entity in the City of Washington, the request for exemption shall be denied, and the applicant/owner shall not receive a tax exemption pursuant to this article.
(3) 
In addition, if at any time during the period of tax abatement pursuant to this article an applicant/owner should become delinquent for any of the aforesaid taxes, claims or other charges, said relief and/or tax abatement provided herein shall automatically terminate on the date said taxes, claims or other charges become delinquent, and from and after said date the applicant/owner of such property shall be liable for all taxes upon the subject property, including the amount abated pursuant to this article.
L. 
The cost of construction per dwelling unit to be exempted and the schedules of taxes exempted existing at the time of the initial request for tax exemption shall be applicable to the exemption request, and subsequent amendments to this article, if any, shall not apply to requests initiated prior to their adoption.
M. 
For the purposes of this article with regard to the abatement program for deteriorating area improvement (residential construction), the following definitions shall apply:
DWELLING UNIT
A house, double house or duplex, townhouse or row house, apartment, or any other building intended for occupancy as living quarters by an individual, a family or families or other groups of persons, which living quarters contain a kitchen or cooking equipment for the exclusive use of the occupant or occupants.
RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION
The building or erection of dwelling units, as defined above, upon vacant land or land specifically prepared to receive such structures.
A. 
Written exemption requests will be accepted by the City of Washington from and after the date of approval of this article through August 8, 2015. No further exemption requests will be considered by the City of Washington on or after August 8, 2015, unless the terms of this program are extended by a majority vote of the Council of the City of Washington by resolution.
B. 
The Council of the City of Washington reserves the right to modify the terms set forth in this tax-exempt program by resolution subsequently adopted by the City of Washington.