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Services and Programs

GOVERNMENT GRANT AND LOAN MANAGEMENT SERVICES

Municipalities in Luzerne County often do not have the capacity to write and administer grants and oversee community projects. Redevelopment Authority staff are experienced in grant writing and administration, and have assisted communities in the County who have received grants from various government and not-for-profit agencies. RA staff can meet with communities and organizations about project needs and will then explore the potential for various grants. Once the community  agrees on a grant or grants to be sought, the RA will work with that community to gather the necessary information and then prepare the application forms and documents. The RA helps communities on a contract basis by completing the administration of the grant(s) and services as an intermediary between the community and government agency or grantor.

 

TAX INCREMENT FINANCING PROGRAM

In 1990, the State legislature enacted The Tax Increment Financing Act (“TIF” Act) to provide municipalities with a tool to fight blight, increase their tax base, and promote economic opportunities when they do not have other available financial resources. Typically, the program requires the identification and approval of a TIF District, which is the area to be revitalized, and a TIF Plan, which is a specific redevelopment project for the TIF District. It assumes that the completed project will result in higher property values and increase tax revenues. To obtain project financing, either through a bank loan or bond issue, the three local taxing bodies — the County, the school district and the municipality — must agree to allocate all or part of their increase in tax revenue from the development to repay the loan or bond. Recent use of TIF include the Highland Park/Coal Street Project in Wilkes-Barre, Stauffer Point, a residential development in Pittston, and Insignia Point, a residential community in Pittston Township.

 

TAX LIEN BUY BACK PROGRAM

This a program which allows for the sale of delinquent real estate tax liens by Pennsylvania counties, municipalities, and school districts. The participating taxing entities are paid a discounted amount of the total value of the liens, and collection is made by a third party entity. This allows the taxing district to immediately monetize its delinquencies, avoid lengthy collection actions, and meet immediate budget needs.

 

LUZERNE COUNTY REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY APPLICATION CRITERIA

LSA GRANTS

The Redevelopment Authority of Luzerne County is now an eligible applicant for Pennsylvania Gaming Local Share Account grants.  The Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) has established eligibility guidelines for Redevelopment Authority applications that are outlined in the Local Share Account application.  In addition, the Authority has instituted its own criteria for applications to be considered by the Authority Board of Directors. 

Per DCED guidelines the Authority may only receive funds for economic development or infrastructure projects.  Also, the Authority may not receive more than 10% of the total program funds awarded (approximately $1,103,266 in 2017). 

The following information provides criteria, relevant dates, and procedures for submission to the Authority:

  • The applicant must submit the local DCED Single Application for Assistance and all required supplemental information to the Authority.
  • Preference may be given to projects that are submitted by Luzerne County and County Authorities.
  • Preference may be given to projects that are multi-municipal (particularly “first-time” multi-municipal projects, to encourage new inter- governmental cooperation efforts).
  • The Redevelopment  Authority will rank projects based upon several factors including:
  • Promotes economic development, including retention of existing jobs or creation of new jobs.
  • Improves the physical condition of public buildings or other public facilities in the County thereby contributing to general community betterment.
  • Infrastructure or capital improvement projects that better community health, safety and/or quality of life in the County.
  • Project eliminates blight and/or contributes to improvement of physical condition of neighborhoods or business districts.
  • Applicant’s project readiness and the quality of plan to effect completion.
  • Applicant’s financial capability to complete project. Dollar amount requested is sufficient to complete project, or requested amount can be adjusted to complete the project in phases.
  • Applicant demonstrates it may obtain additional financing to complete project by leveraging requested funds as a match to obtain other state, federal or private monies.
  • Project applications will be considered and ranked by the Authority Board and voted on at a monthly meeting.
  • Administration costs for the Authority will be 1.5% of the grant award.
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