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Sharpsburg OKs tax break in effort to draw businesses, residents

| Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

Sharpsburg officials hope a tax break will entice residents and businesses to move into the borough.

Council unanimously approved resolutions enacting a tax abatement program throughout the borough. A public hearing preceded the vote, but no residents spoke out about the plan.

New construction and improvements to residential and commercial properties are covered by the program. Property owners can apply to have any increases in borough taxes that result from those changes abated, solicitor Michael Witherel said.

“If it's reassessed at another $20,000 more, we'll abate the borough taxes,” Witherel said.

Sharpsburg will waive 100 percent of the taxes for properties in the program for the first year. That amount would decrease by 20 percent for five years, until the property is fully back on the tax rolls.

The program will only apply to borough taxes.

“It would be much better if the school district was involved, but this is a step in the right direction,” Witherel said.

Witherel said officials had considered limiting the program to certain parts of the community, but council decided it was better to have the program be available throughout Sharpsburg.

“It was impossible to choose one area of the borough to do the abatement,” Witherel said.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513, or tmcgee@tribweb.com.

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