WAYNESBORO — Waynesboro Area School District officials will weigh the pros and cons of participating in a Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance program.
A LERTA is enacted by participating boroughs, townships and school districts by placing underutilized or deteriorated commercial or industrial properties into a tax abatement program in which any tax assessment increase to the property as a result of improvement will be eligible for abatement over a certain period of time.
Washington Township offers a LERTA in eight areas of the township, including Wharf Road and Zullinger industrial parks; commercial property west of Waynesboro along the south side of Route 16; the Wayne Heights Mall area; the industrial area on Midvale Road; Rouzerville along both sides of Route 16; the vacant land to the east and north of Walmart; the south side of Route 16 in Blue Ridge Summit and the NBN property.
In those areas, any tax assessment increase as the result of improvement will be abated with no new taxes paid in the first year and taxes on the new improvement increasing at a 10 percent rate thereafter until reaching 100 percent 10 years later.
The Borough of Waynesboro also has a LERTA ordinance, which is in effect until May 1, 2023.
At the time when the township and borough started their programs, district officials opted out.
But now, WASD officials have met with representatives of the township and borough and are considering the idea.
“We had a great first meeting and feel that we are all looking to work towards a common goal with LERTA,” said Jason Stains, borough manager.
District officials have expressed concern about whether they could restrict certain types of businesses, such as those that weren’t aligned with district values.
WASD Superintendent Tod Kline said the district’s solicitor will investigate questions and concerns.
“We’ll try to have more information and share more,” he told the board last week.
He said he plans to keep in touch with township and borough officials and expects to return to the board with more information in the near future.
“We all have to be on the same page with this,” Kline said. “It could help the community in the long run by bringing in business and jobs.”
Contact Andrea Rose at email@example.com or 717-762-2151.