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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: April 18, 2017 12:07 PM
From: Representative Gary Day
To: All House members
Subject: Vacant Property Registration Co-Sponsorship
 
In the near future I intend to introduce legislation that allows our communities to create and maintain a vacant property registration and assessment program, which is a blight fighting, smart growth tool used to stabilize and re-develop communities.
Specifically, my “Vacant Property Registration and Assessment Act”:
  • allows a municipality to enact an ordinance or resolution that requires a vacant property registration fee and a vacant property assessment.
  • provides requirements for the submission of the municipality’s vacant and vacant-blighted properties list to the county assessment office (or comparable office) and the Department of Community and Economic Development annually.
  • requires the Department of Community and Economic Development to create and maintain a statewide database of properties recognized under this section that is to be available to the public.
  • authorizes the municipality to assess vacant property at a rate of $5 per every $100 of assessed value for vacant property and at a rate of $10 per every $100 of assessed value for blighted-vacant property.
  • provides certain exemption conditions to owners for economic hardship, active military service, probate situations and active real estate sales marketing, providing that the properties comply with local, state and federal codes and laws
  • penalizes owners who fail to comply with the registration requirements by $25 per day for residential properties and $50 per day for commercial or industrial properties for every day that the owner has failed to register the vacant property with the municipality.
  • makes all unpaid fees and assessments liens against the property, collectable as per existing statute regarding municipal claims.
  • requires municipalities that operate a vacant property program to create a “blight remediation and eradication fund” and to use the funds to:
  • acquire tax delinquent and foreclosed properties
  • donate to a land bank
  • apply to conservatorship projects as provided for in Act 135 of 2008
  • remediate blight conditions within its jurisdiction
  • and/or to educate its residents about the costs and dangers of vacancy and blight.
Irresponsible property owners cause substantial socioeconomic problems for our communities. Local governments spend tax dollars securing vacant and vacant/blighted properties and property values decline in neighborhoods with vacancy and blight. It is important that we shift the responsibility for vacancy and blight from responsible, taxpaying property owners to the irresponsible owners of properties left vacant.
Please consider joining me to co-sponsor this legislation.