This column was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, May 12, 2016
By Kaycee Kemper
Our summer calendars are starting to fill up with exciting plans—many of which involve us “hitting the road” and doing some traveling. Here at ACEDC, we are “hitting the road” and traveling to some of our 34 municipalities!
We have been invited by several Adams County municipalities, to meet with local borough and municipal officials who want to spur economic development efforts in their jurisdictions. It’s a way of being proactive and open, learning about the various tools in our economic development toolbox.
One of those tools is LERTA, an acronym for the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act. LERTA promotes economic development by providing property tax abatements for up to 10 years for improvements to industrial, commercial and business property.
A LERTA is established by ordinance of the local municipality following notice and a public hearing. To establish such a district, the municipality must conclude that an area has “economically and socially undesirable land uses,” or other evidence of deterioration as defined in the Act. Once established, the County and School District may elect to participate in the LERTA, but each taxing body decides the amount and duration of the property tax abatement it will provide.
We are very fortunate to rely on the guidance and knowledge of John Cox, municipal finance lawyer and partner at the firm Rhoads & Sinon, regarding LERTA and other tools such as the Tax Increment Financing Act (TIF). Cox serves as bond council for the Adams County Industrial Development Authority (ACIDA).
The last time LERTA was enacted in Adams County was to aid in the rebuilding of The Gettysburg Hotel after it was ravaged by fire in the 1980s. This landmark hotel reopened in 1991, and today it is one of Gettysburg’s crown jewels, prominently and distinctly located on Lincoln Square.
LERTA is just one of a number of economic development tools that we look forward to reviewing with local officials this summer during our visits. Additional Adams County borough and municipal officials are welcome to call and schedule visits at any time.
ACEDC’s mission is to improve the economy of Adams County while preserving and enhancing the quality of life by formulating, implementing, and promoting economic development strategies for sustained investment and employment opportunities in Adams County. Quite often, this process requires a creative approach by examining all the economic development tools at our fingertips.
We are also excited to announce two new tools, at our fingertips, within our online toolbox: ACEDC is now tweeting, so please start following us on Twitter! Our handle is @AdamsCoEDC. Also, THIS is our new blog where you can subscribe to our latest press releases and news items—look in the right-hand column and subscribe today!
Kaycee Kemper serves as Vice President of ACEDC and can be reached at 717-334-0042, ext. 2. For additional information, see acedc.org, and follow the organization on Facebook and Twitter for the latest Adams County business news.