Harrisburg, July 8, 2024 – A bill aimed at helping local communities battle blighted and abandoned properties has been approved by the state House and now heads to the governor’s desk, state Sen. Jim Brewster announced today.

Brewster’s Senate Bill 149, which passed the Senate last year, will allow counties to use a surcharge on real estate transfers to create a demolition fund to help spur redevelopment in local communities.

“Rundown and abandoned properties are a drain on local property values and erode the tax base,” Brewster said. “This bill will help revitalize neighborhoods while reducing property taxes by shoring up property values.”

Under the bill, the governing body of a county may, by ordinance, impose a fee of no more than $250 for the sale of any property being sold or an action for mortgage foreclosure. In addition to the purchase price, the bureau conducting the sale of the property or the sheriff in a mortgage foreclosure will collect the fee.

The demolition fund created can be used by the county, any not-for-profit or for-profit corporation that has a contract with the county or a taxing district, redevelopment authority, land bank or other government entity, for the demolition or rehabilitation of blighted property located in the county.

The bill received considerable bipartisan support in the Senate and passed the House 109-93 this week.