A public hearing scheduled for early May will help decide what properties in the Borough of Waynesboro could be accepted into tax abatement zones.
On May 1 at 7:30 p.m., the Waynesboro Borough Council will host a public hearing about the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Abatement, or LERTA, program.
The Borough of Waynesboro is partnering with Washington Township, Quincy Township and the Waynesboro Area School District to develop the program in the Waynesboro area.
If a LERTA program is put in place locally, eligible industrial or commercial property owners could receive tax savings for 10 years after making improvements to their properties. The tax savings would be only on the improved portions of the properties.
LERTA is designed to be an economic development tool.
Suggested properties for LERTA zones include the downtown business district, an area east of Frick Avenue, an area near Parlor House and Otterbein Church, and buildings associated with Wayne Tool Co., Landis Machine Co. and Landis Tool Co.
Johnson Controls, the former Frick Co., on CV Avenue and Waynesboro Mall on East Main Street were among the recommendations developed by nonprofit organization Mainstreet Waynesboro Inc.’s economic development committee.
Councilman Craig Newcomer said at Wednesday’s council meeting he was hesitant to work that night on the draft maps because two council members were absent.
“Whatever you decide, we’ll make work,” Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger told the council of properties to be included on maps.
Greater Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce President Bill Hoffman asked the council to continue its support of establishing LERTA locally.
LERTA only affects improved portions of properties. Under LERTA, for example, if $100,000 worth of improvements are made on a $200,000 property, the owner could only pay full real estate taxes on the $200,000 — not $300,000 — for several years.
Waynesboro-area governing bodies are looking to create tax abatement where a property owner would pay 10 percent of taxes on improvements in the second year, 20 percent in the third year, 30 percent in the fourth year and so on.