Public LERTA hearing set for Monday

A proposal to expand an existing LERTA program in the city of Warren is moving forward for official action next week.

The City of Warren Redevelopment Authority offered support at Wednesday’s meeting to have a proposal to revamp the current LERTA heard at a public hearing on Monday, May 20 at 7 p.m. during the city council meeting.

The city is looking to revamp the current program to include the entire city and to allow owners of residential properties to apply for 100 percent tax abatement when improvements are made, according to Terry Williams, the city’s director of codes, permitting and recreation services. The revamp also includes lengthening the time of tax abatement from three years to five, Williams told RDA members.

The revamped LERTA, or Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance, would allow purchasers of commercial or residential property to have their taxes held flat for five years in the event that the owner rehabilitates the structure. Such redevelopment would typically trigger a re-assessment and a higher tax bill.

Williams told RDA members that three to four homes have been constructed within the city in the past five years. The program revamp is intended to encourage development, she said.

The city is currently losing structures to blight and being torn down following purchase, according to Williams. That scenario leads to a shrinking tax base, she said.

In addition to having the proposal heard at a public hearing, the city is seeking support from the other taxing authorities. “We’re asking the county and the school district to come on board,” Williams said.

The public hearing to consider revamping the LERTA program is Monday, May 20 at 7 p.m. at Warren Municipal Building. 318 W Third Ave, Warren. It is open to the public.

COMMENTS