Questions about eCode360? Municipal users Join us daily between 12pm and 1pm EDT to get answers and other tips!
City of Easton, PA
Northampton County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Easton as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Redevelopment Authority — See Ch. 12, Art. VI.
Vacant Property Review Committee — See Ch. 152.
[Adopted 11-14-1979 by Ord. No. 2521 (Art. 346 of the 1965 Codified Ordinances); amended in its entirety 4-25-2012 by Ord. No. 5355]
As used in this article, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings set forth below:
BECOMES ASSESSABLE
Immediately following issuance of the state and local occupancy permits.
DETERIORATED PROPERTY
Any industrial, commercial, residential or other property owned by an individual association or corporation and located in a designated LERTA parcel, as provided by map and parcel list by resolution of Council, or any such property which has been the subject of an order by the City requiring the unit to be vacated, condemned or demolished by reason of noncompliance with laws, ordinances or regulations.
[Amended 1-24-2018 by Ord. No. 5625]
IMPROVEMENT
Repair, construction or reconstruction, including alterations and additions, having the effect of rehabilitating a deteriorated property so that it becomes habitable or attains higher standards of safety, health, economic use or amenity or is brought into compliance with laws, ordinances or regulations governing such standards. Ordinary upkeep and maintenance shall not be deemed an improvement.
LERTA
Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act.[1]
LERTA DISTRICT
Parcels identified by City Council by resolution.
[Amended 1-24-2018 by Ord. No. 5625]
LOCAL TAXING AUTHORITY
The City of Easton, the Easton Area School District, the County of Northampton or any other governmental entity having the authority to levy real property taxes within the City of Easton.
MUNICIPAL GOVERNING BODY
The City of Easton.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 72 P.S. § 4722 et seq.
A. 
The amount to be exempted shall be limited to that portion of the additional assessment attributable to the actual cost of improvements.
B. 
The exemption shall be limited to that improvement for which an exemption has been requested in the manner set forth below and for which a separate assessment has been made by the Revenue Appeals Board of Northampton County.
C. 
Exemption shall not apply to any county-wide reassessment.
Subject to the conditions, requirements, and limitations set forth in this article, taxpayers making assessable improvements to deteriorated property located in the LERTA district may apply for and may be granted a real estate tax exemption limited to the amounts in § 531-2 above, subject to the following schedule:
A. 
Improvements.
(1) 
For the first year immediately following the date upon which the improvement becomes assessable, 100% of the additional assessment shall be exempted.
(2) 
For the second year immediately following the date upon which the improvement becomes assessable, 90% of the additional assessment shall be exempted.
(3) 
For the third year immediately following the date upon which the improvement becomes assessable, 80% of the additional assessment shall be exempted.
(4) 
For the fourth year immediately following the date upon which the improvement becomes assessable, 70% of the additional assessment shall be exempted.
(5) 
For the fifth year immediately following the date upon which the improvement becomes assessable, 60% of the additional assessment shall be exempted.
(6) 
For the sixth year immediately following the date upon which the improvement becomes assessable, 50% of the additional assessment shall be exempted.
(7) 
For the seventh year immediately following the date upon which the improvement becomes assessable, 40% of the additional assessment shall be exempted.
(8) 
For the eighth year immediately following the date upon which the improvement becomes assessable, 30% of the additional assessment shall be exempted.
(9) 
For the ninth year immediately following the date upon which the improvement becomes assessable, 20% of the additional assessment shall be exempted.
(10) 
For the tenth year immediately following the date upon which the improvement becomes assessable, 10% of the additional assessment shall be exempted.
(11) 
After the tenth year the exemption shall terminate.
(12) 
The exemption from real property taxes granted under this article shall be upon the property and shall not terminate upon the sale or exchange of the property.
A. 
There shall be placed in the Department of Planning and Codes, on prominent display, the following:
Under the provisions of Chapter 531, Article I, of the Code of the City of Easton, Pennsylvania, as amended, you may be entitled to a property tax exemption on your contemplated alterations in certain designated areas of the City. An application for exemption may be secured from the City of Easton and must be filed with the City of Easton at the time a building or alteration permit is secured.
B. 
At the time a building or alteration permit is secured for the construction of an improvement for which an exemption is requested, the taxpayer shall apply to the City of Easton's Department of Planning and Codes or any successor agency thereto for the exemption provided for in this article. Request for the exemption must be in writing certified in full as prescribed by the City setting forth the following information:
(1) 
The date a final executed building permit was issued for said improvement.
(2) 
The type of improvement.
(3) 
The summary of the plan of the improvement.
(4) 
The cost of the improvement.
(5) 
That the property has been inspected and verified by the City of Easton, Department of Planning and Codes.
(6) 
Any or all such additional information the City of Easton may require.
[Amended 8-12-2016 by Ord. No. 5511]
A copy of the request for exemption shall be forwarded by the City of Easton to the appropriate county administrative agency responsible for the assessment and valuation of real property for tax purposes. Upon completion of the improvement, the taxpayer shall notify the City of Easton and the appropriate county agency so that the agency may assess the improvements separately for the purpose of calculating the amount of assessment eligible for tax exemption in accordance with the limits established in this article. The City of Easton will then obtain from the appropriate county agency the amount of the assessment eligible for exemption and will notify the taxpayer. The Director of Finance or their designee is authorized to make refunds, if applicable, only after the appropriate county agency has notified the Director of Finance or their designee of its separate assessment upon the improvement for which an exemption is requested. Appeals from the reassessment and the amount eligible for the exemption may be taken by the taxpayer or the City of Easton as provided by law.
[Amended 1-24-2018 by Ord. No. 5625]
A. 
Nothing contained herein shall act to prohibit Council from enacting a similar ordinance after December 31, 2027.
B. 
This article shall be effective immediately upon passage and shall terminate on December 31, 2027, unless otherwise repealed by the Easton City Council. Any property tax exemptions granted under the provisions of this article shall be permitted to continue according to the exemption schedule found in § 531-3, unless any such property tax exemption is rescinded in accordance with the default provisions of this article, even if this article expires or is repealed.
[Amended 8-12-2016 by Ord. No. 5511; 1-24-2018 by Ord. No. 5625]
A Tax Abatement Hearing Board shall consist of the City Administrator of the City of Easton and the Director of the Department of Community and Economic Development of the City of Easton for resolution of differences between the approving authority and the owner-taxpayer of the improved property on matters concerning interpretation and execution of the provisions of the resolution. The Hearing Board shall have the following powers:
A. 
Procedure.
(1) 
To hear appeals from any person aggrieved by the application of this Resolution.
(2) 
To make rules with regard to conducting its hearings.
(3) 
To make such findings of fact as may be required by the application of this Resolution.
(4) 
To decide questions presented to the Board.
(5) 
To affirm, revoke or modify the decision of the City of Easton as to the eligibility of a particular property for the property tax abatement as provided for in this Resolution.
(6) 
The Board shall meet upon notice of the Chairman within 30 days of the filing of an appeal and shall render its decision within 30 days after the appeal hearing.
(7) 
Every action of the Board shall be by resolution and certified copies furnished to the appellant.
(8) 
All hearings shall be public; and the appellant or any other person whose interests may be affected by the matter on appeal shall be given an opportunity to be heard.
(9) 
For the purposes of this Resolution, every action of the Board shall require a simple majority of the members in attendance. Attendance at the hearing by three members of the Board shall be required to constitute a quorum for a meeting and for action on an appeal.
The provisions of this Resolution are severable, and if any of its sections, clauses or sentences shall be held illegal, invalid or unconstitutional, such provisions shall not affect or impair any of the remaining sections, clauses or sentences. It is hereby declared to be the intent of Council that the article would have been adopted if such illegal, invalid or unconstitutional section, clause or sentence had not been included herein.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this article, this article shall remain in full force and effect conditioned upon the Easton Area School District and the County of Northampton enacting similar ordinances or resolutions with identical deteriorated areas as those designated by the Council of the City of Easton.
Tax abatement under this Resolution shall be available only for those properties for which real estate taxes are promptly paid and discharged when due. Any property that is declared delinquent as established by the statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania shall lose the LERTA benefits, and any and all currently due and future taxes shall be due and payable at the unabated assessment and tax rate.
Properties that have been declared delinquent may appeal the rescission of the LERTA benefits by providing a written request to the Hearing Board providing a basis for the appeal and the justification for the waiver of the requirements of § 531-2.
All resolutions and parts of resolutions inconsistent herewith be, and the same are hereby repealed.
[Amended 1-24-2018 by Ord. No. 5625]
This article shall take effect 30 days following adoption by Council and shall remain in effect until December 31, 2027.