Legislation to Address Blighted Properties in Pennsylvania
Even though addressing blight is a local concern, the solutions are largely enabled by state law. Several blight bills moved at the end of June and the Governor signed HB 264 into law. Thank you to Representative Doyle Heffley for sponsoring HB 264 (Act 33 of 2021) and to Senator David Argall’s Statewide Blight Task Force for supporting this bill that requires bidder registration before tax and judicial property sales. The law will help prevent speculators and slumlords from hiding behind the shield of LLCs when buying tax delinquent properties.
Below is a table that that summarizes the most recent actions on several bills to address blighted properties in the Commonwealth.
|Bill No||Brief Description||Lead Sponsor||Last Legislative Actions|
|SB 439||Makes permanent the Recorder of Deeds fee county demolition funds||Sen. Argall||Voted out of Senate In House Local Gov’t Committee|
|SB 477||Amends the Consolidated County Assessment Law on the definition of which repairs must be reported to the assessment office and requires the forwarding of demolition permit information to the assessment office||Sen. Ward||Voted out of Senate In House Local Gov’t Committee|
|SB 574||Establishes an optional county demolition and rehabilitation fund from tax sale and foreclosure sale fees||Sen. Brewster||Voted out of Senate In House Local Gov’t Committee|
|HB 160||Can deny municipal permits to LLCs that delinquent on taxes or have serious code violations||Rep. Mullery||In House Urban Affairs Committee|
|HB 581||Provides different options for communities to use tax abatements or exemptions to develop affordable housing in deteriorated areas||Rep. Solomon||Voted out of House|
|HB 610||Grants land banks liability protections when redeveloping brownfields||Rep. A. Davis||1st consideration in House, Laid on the table|
|HB 960||Exempts land banks from the local realty transfer tax (they are already exempt from the state portion of RTT)||Rep. Freeman||In House Urban Affairs Committee|
|HB 961||Expands the eligibility criteria for the Neighborhood Assistance Program to includes locations within land bank jurisdiction||Rep. Freeman||In House Urban Affairs Committee|