CANADOHTA LAKE – The Bloomfield Township Supervisors are hoping Crawford County Commissioners will give them the go-ahead with a proposed tax break that would incentivize both residential and non-residential construction in the township. The idea is to enact what is known as a Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance program, or LERTA, under which anyone doing renovations or constructing new property would be exempt from all property taxes for the first year, then gradually pay more until after five years they are paying the full taxes for the property.
There are at least four municipalities in Crawford County currently using such a program, but the Bloomfield proposal is unique in a couple of ways. For one thing, it would not be limited to just one district within the township, but would cover the entire municipality. And it would extend to both residential and non-residential properties. This could be a deal-breaker for Bloomfield since the Crawford County Planning Office says there is an unofficial policy that LERTA ordinances are only applied to non-residential units.
The supervisors at a public meeting in October declared the entire township to be deteriorated and therefore eligible for tax assistance, but Commissioner Jack Lynch disagreed; he said some properties certainly should not qualify. And Commissioner Sherman Allen was concerned that the plan could end up becoming a tax break for the rich.
In any case, the Commissioners are expected to let the Township Supervisors know what they decide to do by the end of May.
Most of the population of Bloomfield Township is centered in the resort community of Canadohta Lake, where many people have camps and vacation homes.
More local news at www.palive365.com.