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PRINTER'S NO. 2245
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1676
Session of
2017
INTRODUCED BY PETRI, V. BROWN, CALTAGIRONE, D. COSTA, FREEMAN,
LONGIETTI, MILLARD, O'BRIEN, SCHLOSSBERG AND SCHWEYER,
JULY 21, 2017
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON URBAN AFFAIRS, JULY 21, 2017
AN ACT
Amending Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, providing for cultural improvement
district advisory committees and for neighborhood improvement
districts; and repealing the Neighborhood Improvement
District Act.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Title 53 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes is amended by adding a chapter to read:
CHAPTER 62
NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS
Subchapter
A. Preliminary Provisions
B. Cultural Improvement District Advisory Committees
C. Neighborhood Improvement Districts
SUBCHAPTER A
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS
Sec.
6201. Scope of chapter.
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6202. Cities of the first class.
§ 6201. Scope of chapter.
This chapter relates to neighborhood improvement districts.
§ 6202. Cities of the first class.
A city of the first class may establish under Subchapter B
(relating to cultural improvement district advisory committees)
a cultural improvement district in the same manner as a
neighborhood improvement district under the act of December 21,
1998 (P.L.1307, No.174), known as the Community and Economic
Improvement Act.
SUBCHAPTER B
CULTURAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT
ADVISORY COMMITTEES
Sec.
6211. Legislative findings.
6212. Definitions.
6213. Cultural improvement district advisory committees.
6214. Programs to consider.
6215. Local taxing options.
6216. Authorization of taxes.
§ 6211. Legislative findings.
The General Assembly finds that:
(1) Municipalities across this Commonwealth contain
valuable and distinct geographical areas comprised
predominantly of real property containing institutions of
cultural or historical significance and the businesses and
neighborhoods which directly benefit from such institutions.
(2) Many of these municipalities are enriched by
educational, social or recreational opportunities that are
established or supported by these geographical areas of
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cultural or historical significance.
(3) Regions, municipalities, school districts, residents
and businesses benefit directly and indirectly by the
availability of these educational, social or recreational
opportunities.
(4) Despite their inherent value to the surrounding
regions and municipalities, the public, private and not-for-
profit entities which own or operate the institutions
comprising these areas of cultural or historical significance
frequently face financial challenges to meet the necessary
costs of operation while making the benefits to the public
broadly available.
(5) Although many programs have been established by the
General Assembly that may support the ongoing availability
and development of these public benefits and the preservation
of areas and institutions of cultural or historical
significance, local governments may nevertheless be unaware
of economic development programs that could support these
areas and institutions.
(6) It is therefore necessary to provide local
governments with a process by which to appoint a committee to
explore the utilization of available economic development
programs to support and develop such areas and institutions
of cultural or historical significance.
§ 6212. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Committee." A committee established under section 6213
(relating to cultural improvement district advisory committees).
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"Cultural improvement district." The term shall have the
same meaning given to it in Subchapter C (relating to
neighborhood improvement districts).
"Governing body." A city council, borough council,
incorporated town council, board of township commissioners or
board of township supervisors, the governing council of any unit
of government established and existing under Subpart E of Part
III (relating to home rule and optional plan government) or the
governing council of any similar general purpose unit of
government established by statute.
"Municipality." A city, borough, incorporated town, township
or home rule municipality.
"Neighborhood improvement district." The term shall have the
same meaning as given to it in Subchapter C (relating to
neighborhood improvement districts) and, in relation to a city
of the first class, the act of December 21, 1998 (P.L.1307,
No.174), known as the Community and Economic Improvement Act.
§ 6213. Cultural improvement district advisory committees.
(a) Establishment.--The governing body of a municipality may
establish by ordinance a cultural improvement district advisory
committee under this subchapter. The members of the committee
shall be appointed by a majority vote of a quorum of the
governing body and shall serve at the pleasure of the governing
body. The committee shall be comprised of:
(1) Not less than five but not more than nine members as
specified in the ordinance.
(2) Representatives of residents, nonprofit
organizations, institutions and business owners within the
municipality, who shall be representative of and reside or
work in the geographic area within and surrounding
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institutions of cultural or historical significance in the
municipality.
(b) Compensation prohibited.--Members shall serve without
compensation, but may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses at
the governing body's discretion and as specified in the
ordinance.
(c) Duties.--The committee shall have the following duties:
(1) Hold public meetings and consider:
(i) Whether the municipality may benefit from any
economic development program or other program under the
laws of this Commonwealth or the United States which
could be used to enhance or support the areas and
institutions of cultural or historical significance
existing within the municipality. The programs shall
include, but need not be limited to, the programs
identified in section 6214 (relating to programs to
consider).
(ii) Whether the municipality may benefit from any
programs of nonprofit organizations, foundations, trusts
or similar entities for the purposes of this subchapter.
(iii) Whether the governing body of the municipality
should enact a tax under section 6215 (relating to local
taxing options) to support a district established by
Subchapter C (relating to neighborhood improvement
districts) or, in a city of the first class, section 6202
(relating to cities of the first class) and the act of
December 21, 1998 (P.L.1307, No.174), known as the
Community and Economic Improvement Act.
(2) Produce a report that contains its findings and
recommendations to the governing body of the municipality
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within 180 days of the municipality's creation of the
committee.
(3) Provide additional advice to the governing body as
requested by the governing body.
§ 6214. Programs to consider.
A committee shall consider whether the following programs and
any others of benefit could be utilized to enhance or support an
area or institution of cultural or historical significance
within the municipality:
(1) The establishment of a cultural improvement district
under Subchapter C (relating to neighborhood improvement
districts) or, in a city of the first class, section 6202
(relating to cities of the first class) and the act of
December 21, 1998 (P.L.1307, No.174), known as the Community
and Economic Improvement Act.
(2) The creation of a tax increment financing district
to enhance the area of cultural or historical significance in
accordance with the act of July 11, 1990 (P.L.465, No.113),
known as the Tax Increment Financing Act.
(3) Tax exemptions for the improvement of deteriorated
properties under the act of December 1, 1977 (P.L.237,
No.76), known as the Local Economic Revitalization Tax
Assistance Act.
(4) The creation of a historic district to protect
historical areas within or adjacent to the area of cultural
significance in accordance with the act of June 13, 1961
(P.L.282, No.167), entitled "An act authorizing counties,
cities, boroughs, incorporated towns and townships to create
historic districts within their geographic boundaries;
providing for the appointment of Boards of Historical
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Architectural Review; empowering governing bodies of
political subdivisions to protect the distinctive historical
character of these districts and to regulate the erection,
reconstruction, alteration, restoration, demolition or razing
of buildings within the historic districts."
(5) Grants, loans and tax credits through:
(i) The Keystone Communities Program and other
programs for the improvement of neighborhoods
administered by the Department of Community and Economic
Development.
(ii) The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum
Commission.
§ 6215. Local taxing options.
(a) Authorization to municipalities.--Where recommended by a
committee or by an established neighborhood improvement district
management association designated and established by the
municipality under Subchapter C (relating to neighborhood
improvement districts) or, in a city of the first class, section
6202 (relating to cities of the first class) and the act of
December 21, 1998 (P.L.1307, No.174), known as the Community and
Economic Improvement Act , a municipality may, by ordinance and
subject to the provisions of section 6216 (relating to
authorization of taxes), impose one of the following:
(1) In addition to the statutory rate limits on the
general-purpose-levy real estate taxes enumerated in the
municipal code applicable to the municipality, a cultural
improvement district tax on real property not exceeding the
millage authorized by referendum under section 6216.
(2) In addition to the earned income tax rate limit
enumerated in the act of December 31, 1965 (P.L.1257,
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No.511), known as The Local Tax Enabling Act, a cultural
improvement district tax on the earned income of the
residents of the municipality not exceeding the rate
authorized by referendum under section 6216.
(b) Use of revenue.--Revenue from the levy may be used in
one or more of the following manners:
(1) The revenue may be appropriated for the
establishment or support of a cultural improvement district
which has been or would be established and for any purpose
provided for under sections 6224 (relating to powers of
municipal corporation), 6227 (relating to powers of
neighborhood improvement district management association) and
6228 (relating to additional powers of neighborhood
improvement district management association in a cultural
district).
(2) The revenue may be deposited into a cultural
improvement district maintenance fund, established by the
municipality, to develop, improve, design and maintain
property within the cultural improvement district. In no case
may the municipality deposit more than 25% of the revenue
collected from the levy into the cultural improvement
district maintenance fund.
(c) Restriction.--In no event may revenue collected from the
levy in a particular year be used to develop, improve, design
and maintain the property within the cultural improvement
district unless the annual debt service incurred under section
6224 for the benefit of the cultural improvement district will
be satisfied.
§ 6216. Authorization of taxes.
(a) Referendum required.--
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(1) The local taxing option for a cultural improvement
district tax authorized by section 6215 (relating to local
taxing options) may not be exercised unless the governing
body of the municipality provides by ordinance for a
referendum on the question of the imposition at a specific
rate of the additional tax and a majority of those voting on
the referendum question vote in favor of the imposition of
the tax. The additional tax may not be repealed any sooner
than five years after the imposition of the tax.
(2) The ordinance of the governing body of the local
government unit providing for a referendum on the question
shall be filed with the county board of elections. The
referendum shall be governed by the provisions of the act of
June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320), known as the Pennsylvania
Election Code.
(3) The election official shall cause the question to be
submitted to the electors of the municipality at the next
primary, general or municipal election occurring not later
than the thirteenth Tuesday following the filing of the
ordinance with the county board of elections.
(4) At the election, the question shall be submitted to
the voters in the same manner as other questions are
submitted under the provisions of the Pennsylvania Election
Code.
(5) The question to be placed upon the ballot shall be
framed in the following form:
Do you favor the imposition of a (describe tax in millage
or earned income tax rate) by (municipality) to be used
to support the (specified) cultural improvement district?
(b) Repeal by referendum.--
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(1) The method of repeal of the cultural improvement
district tax shall be by referendum, and the procedures for
the filing of the ordinance and the conduct of the referendum
shall be the same as specified in subsection (a), except the
question to be placed upon the ballot shall be framed in the
following form:
Do you favor the continued imposition of the (describe
tax in millage or earned income tax rate) by
(municipality) to be used to support the (specified)
cultural improvement district?
(2) If the referendum question passes, the cultural
improvement district tax shall continue to be imposed at the
rate described in the question.
(3) If the referendum question fails, the increase in
the rate limit of the real estate or the earned income tax
provided for by subsection (a) shall be repealed, effective
in the fiscal year following the referendum.
(4) Regardless of whether the referendum question passes
or fails, a referendum on the continued imposition of the
cultural improvement district tax under this subsection shall
not be held any sooner than five years after the approval or
disapproval of the referendum question.
(c) Real property exemptions.--
(1) Any of the following categories of real property may
be exempted by a municipality from further millage increases:
(i) Real property in which the open space property
interests have been acquired by a municipality in
accordance with the act of January 19, 1968 (1967
P.L.992, No.442) , entitled, as amended, "An act
authorizing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the
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local government units thereof to preserve, acquire or
hold land for open space uses."
(ii) Real property that is subject to an easement
acquired in accordance with the act of June 30, 1981
(P.L.128, No.43), known as the Agricultural Area Security
Law.
(iii) Real property from which transferable
development rights have been transferred and retired by a
municipality without their development potential having
occurred on other lands.
(2) The exemption from further millage increases for
real property as provided for in this section shall be
authorized only for real property qualifying for the
exemption under the provisions of section 2(b)(i) of Article
VIII of the Constitution of Pennsylvania.
(3) No exemptions granted under this section may be
considered by the State Tax Equalization Board in deriving
the market value of school district real property so as to
reduce the subsidy to that school district or to increase the
subsidy to any other school district.
SUBCHAPTER C
NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS
Sec.
6221. Scope of subchapter.
6222. Legislative findings.
6223. Definitions.
6224. Powers of municipal corporation.
6225. Neighborhood improvement districts.
6226. Neighborhood improvement district management
associations.
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6227. Powers of neighborhood improvement district management
association.
6228. Additional powers of neighborhood improvement district
management association in a cultural district.
6229. Dissolution of neighborhood improvement district
management association and neighborhood improvement
district.
6230. Annual audit; report.
6231. Applicability.
§ 6221. Scope of subchapter.
This subchapter relates to neighborhood improvement districts
in municipalities. Neighborhood improvement districts in cities
of the first class shall be governed by the act of December 21,
1998 (P.L.1307, No.174), known as the Community and Economic
Improvement Act.
§ 6222. Legislative findings.
The General Assembly finds that:
(1) Existing tax rates in many municipalities are at or
near their statutory cap.
(2) The General Fund revenue derived from these taxes
many times is not sufficient to provide adequate municipal
services or additional services needed in specific geographic
areas within the municipality, including, but not limited to,
downtown commercial districts.
(3) As a result, municipalities should be encouraged to
establish, where feasible and desired, assessment-based
neighborhood improvement districts which would include, but
not be limited to, downtown commercial districts. Designated
district management associations would initiate and
administer programs to promote and enhance more attractive
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and safer commercial, industrial, residential and mixed-use
neighborhoods; economic growth; increased employment
opportunities; and improved commercial, industrial, business
districts and business climates.
(4) Municipalities should be given the broadest possible
discretion in establishing by local ordinance the type of
assessment-based programs most consistent with neighborhood
needs, goals and objectives as determined and expressed by
property owners in the designated district.
§ 6223. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Authority." A body politic and corporate, established under
the former act of May 2, 1945 (P.L.382, No.164), known as the
Municipality Authorities Act of 1945, or Chapter 56 (relating to
municipal authorities).
"Benefited property." Those properties located within a
neighborhood improvement district which profit from district
improvements based on a rational nexus test. Properties need not
profit equally to be considered to have benefited.
"Bonds." The term shall include the notes, bonds and other
evidence of indebtedness or obligations which each municipal
corporation is authorized to issue under section 6224(7)
(relating to powers of municipal corporation).
"Business improvement." In the case of neighborhood
improvement district management associations established for the
purpose of making improvements or providing administrative
services within a neighborhood improvement district, the term
shall mean those improvements needed in specific areas or to
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individual properties, including, but not limited to, sidewalks,
retaining walls, street paving, parks, recreational equipment
and facilities, open space, street lighting, parking lots,
parking garages, trees and shrubbery, pedestrian walks, sewers,
water lines, rest areas and the acquisition and rehabilitation
or demolition of blighted buildings or structures.
"Business improvement district" or "BID." A business
improvement district established prior to February 19, 2001, and
governed by the former act of May 2, 1945 (P.L.382, No.164),
known as the Municipality Authorities Act of 1945, insofar as it
relates to business improvement districts or Chapter 54
(relating to business improvement districts). On or after
February 19, 2001, the term shall mean a limited geographical
area comprised of real property which is used for any for-profit
activity involving trade and traffic, or commerce in general.
"Commercial." Relating to or associated with any for-profit
activity involving trade and traffic or commerce in general.
"Construction expenditures." Property and right-of-way
acquisition costs where applicable.
"Costs of improvements." The term includes architectural
fees, engineering fees, attorney fees, consulting fees,
professional fees, preliminary planning expenditures,
feasibility study expenditures, financing costs and any other
expenditures necessary and incidental to the development,
construction or completion of the improvement.
"Cultural improvement district." A limited geographical area
composed of institutions of cultural or historical significance
and the surrounding businesses and neighborhoods that directly
benefit from such institutions.
"District advisory council." A committee comprised of
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property owners from a neighborhood improvement district
established under section 6227(a) (relating to powers of
neighborhood improvement district management association) for
the purpose of providing guidance and direction to the
neighborhood improvement district management association
concerning association activities within the district.
"Industrial district." A limited geographical area comprised
of real property which is used predominantly for manufacturing,
commercial or any other activity related to the distribution of
goods and services and intermediate and final products,
including, but not limited to, warehousing, shipping,
transportation, remanufacturing, stockpiling of raw materials,
repair and maintenance of machinery and equipment, storage,
administration or business activities and research and
development.
"Institution." The term includes, but is not limited to, a
college, university, school, hospital, museum, theater, church,
synagogue, art center or similar facility.
"Institutional district." A limited geographical area
comprised predominantly of real property on which educational,
health-related or cultural activities occur within buildings and
structures, including, but not limited to, colleges,
universities, schools, hospitals, museums, theaters, churches,
synagogues and art centers.
"Mixed-use district." A limited geographical area comprised
of real property used for any or all purposes contained within a
business, residential, industrial or institutional district.
"Municipal corporation." The body or board authorized by law
to enact ordinances or adopt resolutions for a municipality.
"Municipality." With the exception of a city of the first
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class, a city, borough, incorporated town, township, home rule,
optional plan or optional charter municipality located within
this Commonwealth.
"Neighborhood." A limited geographic area within a
municipality establishing a neighborhood improvement district,
the limits of which form the neighborhood improvement district
boundary.
"Neighborhood improvement." Improvements needed in specific
geographic areas or to individual properties within those areas,
including, but not limited to, sidewalks, retaining walls,
street paving, parks, recreational equipment and facilities,
open space, street lighting, parking lots, trees and shrubbery,
sewers, water lines, rest areas and the acquisition and
rehabilitation or demolition of deteriorated buildings or
structures.
"Neighborhood improvement district" or "NID." A limited
geographic area within a municipality, in which a special
assessment is levied on all designated property, other than tax-
exempt property, for the purpose of promoting the economic and
general welfare of the district and the municipality, the term
includes all of the following:
(1) Business improvement district (BID).
(2) Cultural improvement district (CID).
(3) Industrial improvement district (IID).
(4) Institutional improvement district (INID).
(5) Mixed-use improvement district (MID), depending on
the type of district established.
(6) Residential improvement district (RID).
A designated property may not be included in more than one
neighborhood improvement district.
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"Neighborhood improvement district management association" or
"NIDMA." The governing body that oversees the management of
neighborhood improvement districts in a municipality as
established under section 6225 (relating to neighborhood
improvement districts), and is incorporated as a nonprofit
corporation in this Commonwealth or an authority as established
under the former act of May 2, 1945 (P.L.382, No.164), known as
the Municipality Authorities Act of 1945, or Chapter 56
(relating to municipal authorities).
"Neighborhood improvement district plan" or "NIDP." The
strategic plan for neighborhood improvements required by section
6225 (relating to neighborhood improvement districts), and all
projects, programs and supplemental services to be provided
within the district to implement the plan by the neighborhood
improvement district management association.
"Neighborhood improvement district services." In the case
of:
(1) A neighborhood improvement district management
association established for the purpose of making
improvements or providing expanded services within an
established neighborhood business improvement district, the
term shall include, but not be limited to, those services
which improve the ability of the commercial establishments
within the neighborhood business improvement district to
serve the consumer, such as free or reduced-fee parking for
customers, transportation-related expenses, public relations
programs, group advertising and district maintenance and
security services.
(2) A residential, industrial, institutional or mixed-
use neighborhood improvement district, the term shall
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include, but not be limited to, those services which improve
the ability of property owners to enjoy a safer and more
attractive neighborhood through the provision of increased or
expanded services, including street lighting, street
cleaning, street maintenance, parks, recreational equipment
and facilities, open space or security services.
"Nonprofit corporation." A legal entity that is incorporated
within this Commonwealth and specifies in its charter or bylaws
that no part of the net earnings may benefit any private
shareholder or individual holding interest in the legal entity.
"Private security officer." Any person or firm employed by a
neighborhood improvement district management association for the
purpose of providing increased security or protective patrol
services within the neighborhood improvement district. The term
may include an off-duty police officer, provided that the use of
the officer for this purpose is approved by the governing body
of the municipality in which the neighborhood improvement
district is located or the municipality where the officer is
employed, if different.
"Project." The acquisition, development, construction,
improvement, rehabilitation, operation or maintenance of a
building, facility, equipment or structure, by purchase, lease
or contract, by a neighborhood improvement district management
association to facilitate neighborhood and business improvements
as authorized by this subchapter.
"Rational nexus." The legal principle which requires that
there is a rational, definable benefit which accrues to a
property owner assessed a fee for the benefit in a neighborhood
improvement district established under this subchapter. All
property owners within a designated neighborhood improvement
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district paying a special assessment fee must benefit directly
or indirectly from facilities or services provided by a
neighborhood improvement district management association within
the neighborhood improvement district, provided, however, that
property owners need not benefit equally.
"Residential district." A limited geographical area
comprised of real property consisting predominantly of buildings
and structures for housing individuals and families, including,
but not limited to, single-family detached homes, single-family
semidetached homes, townhouses, condominiums, apartments,
manufactured homes, modular homes or any combination of the
same.
"Service area." The area within the boundaries of a
neighborhood improvement district established by a municipality
under this subchapter in which the neighborhood improvement
district management association provides programs, services and
improvements. The term may also include an area outside of the
neighborhood improvement district where services are being
provided by the neighborhood improvement district management
association under contract.
"Special assessment fee." The fee assessed on property
owners within a neighborhood improvement district levied by the
municipality establishing a neighborhood improvement district
under section 6224(10) (relating to powers of municipal
corporation) for the purposes of providing programs,
improvements and services under section 6227 (relating to powers
of neighborhood improvement district management association).
"Sunset provision." The term means a provision in the
neighborhood improvement district plan under section 6225(c)
(relating to neighborhood improvement districts), establishing a
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neighborhood improvement district, which provides for the
automatic termination of the neighborhood improvement district
on a date specified in the neighborhood improvement district
plan and in the municipal ordinance establishing the
neighborhood improvement district. The neighborhood improvement
district may be continued beyond that date, provided that the
municipal enabling ordinance establishing the original
neighborhood improvement district is reenacted, following a
review of the neighborhood improvement district and the
neighborhood improvement district management association
programs and services provided within the neighborhood
improvement district by the municipality.
§ 6224. Powers of municipal corporation.
A municipal corporation shall have the power:
(1) To establish within the municipality an area or
areas designated as an NID.
(2) To establish an authority to administer the NID or
to designate an existing community development corporation or
other existing nonprofit corporation to administer same or to
establish a community development corporation or other
nonprofit corporation to administer same under sections 6226
(relating to neighborhood improvement district management
associations) and 6227 (relating to powers of neighborhood
improvement district management association).
(3) To appropriate and expend, in accordance with the
specific provisions of the municipal enabling ordinance,
municipal funds as may be required to:
(i) Acquire by purchase or lease real or personal
property deemed necessary to effectuate the purposes of
the NID.
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(ii) Prepare or have prepared preliminary planning
or feasibility studies to determine needed improvements
in an NID, including, but not limited to, capital
improvements, traditional streetscape and building
renovations, retaining walls, street paving, street
lighting, parking lots, parking garages, trees and
shrubbery, pedestrian walks, sewers, water lines, rest
areas, acquisition, rehabilitation or demolition of
blighted buildings and structures, graffiti removal,
security, marketing, promotions, advertising, business
retention and recruitment activities, master leasing and
property management, joint advertising, research and
planning as well as the provision of additional services
to supplement, not replace, existing municipal services
provided within the NID.
(4) To advance funds to an NIDMA as may be required to
carry out the purposes of this subchapter.
(5) To collect special property assessments on behalf of
the NIDMA levied on designated property owners within the NID
and to employ any legal methods to ensure collection of the
assessments.
(6) To acquire by gift, purchase or eminent domain,
land, real property or rights-of-way which may be needed for
the purposes of making physical improvements within the NID.
(7) To issue bonds, notes or guarantees, in accordance
with the provisions of general laws in the amounts and for
the periods necessary, to finance needed improvements within
any NID.
(8) To review all proposed expenditures of funds within
NIDs by NIDMAs and suggest changes to same where a nonprofit
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corporation is the NIDMA.
(9) To include a sunset provision of no less than five
years in the municipal enabling ordinance creating the NID
and in the contract with the NIDMA.
(10) To levy an assessment fee on property owners
located within an NID needed to finance additional
supplemental programs, services and improvements to be
provided or made by the NIDMA.
§ 6225. Neighborhood improvement districts.
(a) Establishment.--
(1) The governing body of a municipality or municipal
business or residents, or combination thereof, may initiate
action to establish an NID or NIDs within the municipality
under this subchapter.
(2) In the case of businesses or residents, or both,
desiring to establish an NID where the municipality has not
taken action to do so, the governing body of the municipality
may be petitioned to establish an NID under the procedures
provided for by this subchapter.
(3) In no case where the governing body of a
municipality is petitioned to establish an NID under
paragraph (2) shall the municipality be required to establish
an NID.
(b) Specific procedures.--
(1) A copy of everything required under this section as
well as the date, location and time of any public hearing
required under this subchapter shall be provided by the
municipal corporation to all property owners and lessees of
property owners located in the proposed NID at least 30 days
prior to the first public hearing required by this section.
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(2) At least one public hearing, no earlier than 15 days
apart, for the purpose of receiving public comment from
affected property owners within the proposed NID, on the
proposed NIDP, shall be held by the municipality before the
establishment of an NID. Notice of the hearing shall be
advertised at least 10 days prior thereto in a newspaper of
general circulation in the municipality.
(3) Any objections by property owners within the
proposed NID must be made in writing by persons representing
the ownership of 40%, in numbers, of the benefited properties
within the NID. Objections must be signed by the property
owner and filed in the office of the clerk for the governing
body of the municipality in which the NID is proposed.
(c) Contents of preliminary plan.--The plan shall include
the following:
(1) A map indicating the boundaries, by street, of the
proposed NID; however, a designated property may not be
included in more than one NID.
(2) A written report from the municipality containing:
(i) The name of the proposed district.
(ii) A detailed description of the service areas of
the proposed district.
(iii) A list of all properties to be assessed.
(iv) A list of proposed improvements within the NID
and their estimated cost.
(v) A proposed budget for the first fiscal year,
including, but not limited to, the following:
(A) personnel and administration;
(B) programs and services;
(C) maintenance and operation; and
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(D) capital expenditures.
(vi) The proposed revenue sources for financing all
proposed improvements, programs and services.
(vii) The estimated time for implementation and
completion of all proposed improvements, programs and
services.
(viii) A statement identifying the administrative
body which will govern and administer the NID.
(ix) Any other information, including the statutory
authority or, in the case of a nonprofit corporation, the
bylaws, that describes the powers and duties of and the
method for making decisions by the NIDMA.
(x) The method of determining the amount of the
assessment fee to be levied on property owners within the
NID under section 6227 (relating to powers of
neighborhood improvement district management
association).
(3) The plan shall also:
(i) Identify in detail the specific duties and
responsibilities of both the NIDMA and the municipal
corporation with respect to the NID.
(ii) Require that a written agreement be signed by
the municipal corporation and the NIDMA describing in
detail their respective duties and responsibilities.
(iii) Allow for and encourage tax-exempt property
owners located within the NID to provide in-kind services
or a financial contribution to the NIDMA, if not
assessed, in lieu of a property assessment fee.
(iv) Require in the agreement between the municipal
corporation and the NIDMA that the municipality must
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maintain the same level of municipal programs and
services provided within the NID before NID designation
as after NID designation.
(v) Allow the municipal corporation the right to
include in the agreement with the NIDMA and in the
enabling ordinance establishing the NID, a sunset
provision of no less than five years for renewal of the
agreement.
(vi) Require in the agreement with the NIDMA that
the municipality establishing an NID collect all property
assessment fees levied within the NID if so desired by
the NIDMA.
(vii) Provide that a negative vote of at least 40%
of the property owners within the NID proposed in the
final plan shall be required to defeat the establishment
of the proposed NID by filing objections with the clerk
for the governing body of the municipality within 45 days
of presentation of the final plan where the governing
body of the municipality is inclined to establish the
NID.
(d) Final plan.--
(1) Prior to the establishment of an NID, the
municipality shall submit a revised final plan to property
owners located within the proposed NID which incorporates
changes made to the plan based on comments from affected
property owners within the NID provided at the public
hearings or at some other time.
(2) Changes to the final plan which differ from the
preliminary plan shall be indicated in an easily discernible
method for the reader, including, but not limited to, changes
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being in boldface or italic type.
(e) Public hearing.--
(1) At least one public hearing for the purpose of
receiving public comment on any revisions to the preliminary
plan made following suggestions by affected property owners
within the proposed NID and reflected in the final NIDP shall
be held by the municipal corporation before enacting an
ordinance establishing an NID.
(2) Notice of the hearing shall be advertised at least
10 days prior thereto in a newspaper of general circulation
in the municipality.
(f) Veto of final plan for NID.--
(1) Following the last public hearing required under
subsection (e) or under subsection (g) if there is an
amendment to the final plan, affected property owners located
within a proposed NID shall have 45 days from the date of the
hearing to object to and disapprove the final plan or any
amendment to the final plan under the requirements of
subsection (b)(3).
(2) If 40% or more of the affected property owners
within the proposed NID fail to register their disapproval of
the final plan or amendment to the final plan in writing with
the clerk of the governing body of the municipality in which
the NID is proposed, the governing body of the municipality
may, following the 45-day period, enact a municipal ordinance
establishing an NID under this subchapter or, in the case of
an amendment to the final plan, adopt any amendments to the
ordinance.
(g) Amendments to final plan.--
(1) The final plan may be amended by the NIDMA any time
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after the establishment of an NID under the provisions of
this subchapter and upon the recommendation of the NIDMA
board, provided there is concurrence with 60% of the property
owners within the NID.
(2) Amendments to the final plan which also require the
approval of the governing body of the municipality
establishing the NID include:
(i) Substantially changed or added programs,
improvements or services to be provided in the NID.
(ii) Increased expenditures affecting more than 25%
of the total NIDMA budget for the fiscal year.
(iii) Incurring increased indebtedness.
(iv) Changing the assessment fee structure levied on
property owners in the NID.
(v) Changing the legal entity of the NIDMA which
provides programs, improvements and services within the
NID.
(vi) Changing the NID service area boundary.
Prior to the governing body of the municipality approving any
change enumerated in this paragraph, the governing body shall
hold at least one public hearing to determine that the change
is in the public interest as it relates to affected property
owners within the NID.
(3) The municipality shall provide public notice of the
hearing for the amendment by publication of a notice in at
least one newspaper having a general circulation in the NID
specifying the time and place of such hearing and the
amendment to be considered. The notice shall be published
once at least 10 days prior to the date of the hearing.
(4) The governing body of the municipality may, within
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30 days following the public hearing and at its sole
discretion, approve or disapprove of the amendment to the
plan. If approved, the amendment shall be effective upon the
date of such approval.
(5) Prior to the adoption of an amendment to the NID
boundary which increases the size of the NID, any owner of
property to be added to the NID shall be notified of the
date, time and location of the public hearing on the proposed
amendment to the final plan and provided all information
required by subsection (c).
§ 6226. Neighborhood improvement district management
associations.
(a) Designation.--When a municipality establishes an NID
under this subchapter, an NIDMA shall be designated by the
governing body of the municipality in which the NID is to be
located to administer programs, improvements and services within
the NID.
(b) Administration.--
(1) NIDs established under this subchapter shall be
administered by an NIDMA which shall be an authority
established under the former act of May 2, 1945 (P.L.382,
No.164), known as the Municipality Authorities Act of 1945,
or Chapter 56 (relating to municipal authorities), an
existing nonprofit development corporation, an existing
nonprofit corporation or a nonprofit development corporation
or nonprofit corporation established by the governing body or
authorized to be established by the governing body of the
municipality in which the NID is to be located, to administer
the NIDP.
(2) If an active nonprofit development corporation
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already exists within the geographic boundaries of the NID
and formally indicates its interest to the governing body of
the municipality to become the designated NIDMA, the
governing body of the municipality shall grant that request
unless 40% or more of the affected property owners within the
proposed NID register their disapproval of this designation
in writing with the clerk of the governing body within a 45-
day period following the formal written request for
designation by the nonprofit development corporation to
become the NIDMA.
(c) Powers.--An NIDMA established under this subchapter
shall assume all powers provided for in section 6227 (relating
to powers of neighborhood improvement district management
association) immediately upon the effective date of the
municipal ordinance enacted under section 6224 (relating to
powers of municipal corporation) establishing the NID.
(d) Board.--An NIDMA shall have an administrative board as
follows:
(1) Where an authority established under the former
Municipality Authorities Act of 1945 or Chapter 56 serves as
the NIDMA, the board shall be appointed under the former
Municipality Authorities Act of 1945 or Chapter 56, as
applicable.
(2) Where an existing nonprofit development corporation
or other nonprofit corporation is to serve as the NIDMA, the
board shall be appointed according to the bylaws of the NIDMA
filed with the Department of State.
(3) Where a nonprofit development corporation or other
nonprofit corporation is established to serve as the NIDMA
for an NID, the board shall be comprised of five, seven or
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nine members with at least one member representing the
municipal corporation in which the NID is located.
(4) In all cases, an NIDMA board shall include a
representative of property owners located in the NID,
business owners located in the NID and any institution
located in the NID. Institutional members may appoint a
designee to represent them. All board members need not be
residents of the NID.
§ 6227. Powers of neighborhood improvement district management
association.
(a) General powers.--An NIDMA shall have, in addition to any
other powers provided under Chapter 56 (relating to municipal
authorities), where the NIDMA is an authority, or in addition to
any other powers provided under the charter establishing a
nonprofit development corporation or other nonprofit
corporation, where the NIDMA is a nonprofit development
corporation or other nonprofit corporation, the power to:
(1) Sue or be sued, implead or be impleaded, complain
and defend in all courts.
(2) Employ an executive director or administrator and
any necessary supporting staff or contract for the provision
of same.
(3) Prepare planning or feasibility studies or contract
for the preparation of same to determine needed capital
improvements or administrative programs and services within
the NID.
(4) Make capital improvements or provide administrative
programs and services within an NID.
(5) Purchase, own, construct, renovate, develop,
operate, rehabilitate, manage, sell or dispose of real
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property.
(6) Contract with existing businesses within the NID.
(7) Contract for the provision of products or services
by the NIDMA to clients located inside and outside of the
NID, including billing and collection of assessment fees by
another NIDMA.
(8) Appropriate and expend NID funds which would include
any Federal, State or municipal funds received by the NIDMA.
The funds shall be expended in accordance with any specific
provisions contained in the municipal enabling ordinance
establishing the NID and may be used:
(i) To acquire by purchase or lease real or personal
property to effectuate the purposes of this subchapter,
including making common improvements within the NID,
including, but not limited to, sidewalks, retaining
walls, street paving, parks, recreational equipment and
facilities, open space, street lighting, parking lots,
parking garages, trees and shrubbery, pedestrian walks,
sewers, water lines, rest areas and the acquisition,
rehabilitation or demolition of blighted buildings or
comparable structures.
(ii) To provide free or reduced-fee parking for
customers of businesses within the NID, transportation-
related expenditures, public relations programs, group
advertising and NID maintenance and security services.
(iii) To impose special assessment fees.
(9) Solicit in-kind services or financial contributions
from tax-exempt property owners within the NID in lieu of
property assessment fees. This may include entering into
voluntary multiyear agreements between the NIDMA and tax-
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exempt property owners located within an NID for the
provision of same.
(10) Impose liens on property for the nonpayment of
property assessments. An NID administered by a nonprofit
corporation would have any such liens filed by the municipal
corporation.
(11) Hire additional off-duty police officers or private
security officers whose patrol area responsibilities are
limited to the geographical area incorporated within the
designated NID service area and whose responsibility is to
support existing municipal and volunteer efforts aimed at
reducing crime and improving security in the NID.
(12) Designate a district advisory committee for each
NID established within the municipality. The committee shall
consist of five, seven or nine members who must represent the
neighborhood's character, including, but not limited to, age,
sex and cultural diversity.
(b) Assessments.--
(1) The NIDMA shall, upon approval by the governing body
of the municipality, have the power to assess property owners
within the NID a special property assessment fee. Revenues
from the fee shall be accounted for and used by the NIDMA to
make improvements and provide programs and services within
the NID as authorized by this subchapter. Where the district
established is a BID , the NIDMA may exempt residential
property owners from any special assessment fees levied.
(2) All assessments authorized under this section shall
be calculated using January 1 as the first day of the fiscal
year.
(3) All special property assessment fees shall be based
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upon the estimated cost of the programs, improvements or
services to be provided in the NID as stated in the final
plan under section 6225(d) (relating to neighborhood
improvement districts). In no case shall the aggregate amount
of all fees levied by the NIDMA during the year exceed the
estimated cost of proposed programs, improvements and
services for the year.
(4) In the case of an NID which contains a combination
of business, residential, industrial or institutional areas
and uses, a weighted assessment may be instituted. In such
case, the fee levied on property owners generally may be
weighted higher for business, industrial or institutional
properties than that levied on residential property owners,
provided that the basis for the calculation of the fee meets
the rational nexus test.
(5) The total costs of improvements, programs and
administrative services provided by the NIDMA shall be
assessed to all designated properties within the NID by one
of the following methods:
(i) An assessment determined by multiplying the
total service and improvement costs by the ratio of the
assessed value of the benefited property to the total
assessed valuation of all designated benefited properties
in the NID.
(ii) An assessment upon the several properties in
the NID in proportion to benefits as ascertained by
viewers appointed in accordance with law.
(iii) Any method that equitably apportions costs
among benefiting properties.
(iv) In the case of improvements benefiting
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properties abutting the NID by the front-foot method,
with equitable adjustments for corner properties and
other cases provided for in the municipal ordinance. Any
property which cannot be equitably assessed by the front-
foot method may be assessed by any of the methods
enumerated in subparagraphs (i), (ii) and (iii).
(c) Payment.--
(1) The governing body may, by ordinance, authorize the
payment of the assessment in equal annual or more frequent
installments over such time and bearing interest at the rate
specified in the municipal ordinance.
(2) If bonds have been issued and sold or notes or
guarantees have been given or issued to provide for the cost
of the services and improvements, the assessment in equal
installments shall not be payable beyond the term for which
the bonds, notes or guarantees are payable.
(d) Liens.--
(1) Notwithstanding the filing of the claims, all
assessments which are made payable in installments shall
constitute liens and encumbrances upon the respective
benefited properties at the beginning of each calendar year,
except as provided in subsection (c), and only in an amount
equal to the sum of:
(i) the annual or other installments becoming
payable in such year, with interest and penalties, if
any; and
(ii) the total of all installments, with interest
and penalties, which became due during prior years and
which remain due and unpaid at the beginning of the
current year.
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