School Board mulls LERTA, audit results
There are LERTA proposals and then there are LERTA proposals.
Warren County has asked Warren County School District to approve and join in a county-wide Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance program that would give individuals and entities that develop property a break on their property taxes for years.
The City of Warren is part of that proposal, but the request on Monday was a much less significant change.
“The city has had a commercial LERTA in effect since 1985,” Building Code Official Terry Williams said to the finance committee. “The current LERTA is a 100-percent, three year, commercial LERTA. It has been effective over the years.”
“A number of large and small commercial” enterprises have “utilized that LERTA to beneficial effect,” she said.
There is a small portion of the city that does not fall within the boundaries.
City officials would like to change that. “What we propose… is to extend that three-year, 100-percent LERTA to a five-year, 100-percent LERTA” that includes the whole city, Williams said.
She asked that the board provide a decision soon. “We have a project right now” that would result in construction of a “four-story apartment complex for seniors” at the southeast corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Liberty Street, Williams said. The augmented LERTA would “make a significant different in the quality of the grant application.”
The county-wide LERTA — or as wide as the municipalities that approve it — would include commercial and residential properties.
Williams said that program would also be a boon to the city, particularly the residential part of it.
“Our tax assessment values have not increased in a number of years,” she said. “The city is in need of some incentives. The LERTA… is a definite incentive.”
The district received good news from its auditors on Monday.
Buzz Felix and Stephen Falk of Felix and Gloekler announced that there were no significant findings in the audit of the district’s books.
“This is what we call a clean opinion,” Felix said.