LERTA – Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance

For projects started and permits secured before July 3, 2019 click here

LERTA is a tax abatement program designed to encourage reinvestment in the City of Erie.

City Council File No. 16,099, Official Ordinance No. 37-2019

Effective July 3, 2019 superseding all prior LERTA Ordinances

In June 2019, the City, School District, and County taxing bodies adopted ordinances to provide for a beneficial investment incentive for Commercial/Industrial and Residential properties throughout the City of Erie. This real estate tax abatement program applies to the increased taxes that would result from an increase in the assessed value of a property due to improvements that are completed through the permitting process. Please note that the property owner will continue to pay existing real estate taxes on the property (and an increased level of taxes on a vacant lot that is converted to an improved lot), but they will not be fully taxed on the improvements until the abatement time period ends.

“Improvements” means repairs, renovations, new construction, reconstruction, alterations, or additions, having the effect of rehabilitating a deteriorated property, either commercial or residential, so that it becomes habitable or attains higher standards of safety, health, economic use or amenity, or is brought into compliance by laws, ordinances, or regulations governing such standards. Ordinary upkeep and maintenance shall not be deemed an improvement and should not result in an increased assessed value and taxation.

Improvements that do not result in an increased assessed value on the subject property will not qualify for LERTA.

LERTA will only be granted when a LERTA application accompanies a building permit. Benefits will not be applied retroactively to projects started without the proper permits. In order to be eligible for the exemption, the applicant/property owner must submit a LERTA application for tax exemption to the City at the time the applicant/property owner secures the building permit. Additionally, the applicant/property owner must be current on all real estate taxes owed on all properties he/she/it owns in the County of Erie.

New construction and improvements made to all Industrial, Commercial, and Business properties in the City of Erie shall be eligible for an exemption of real estate property taxes pursuant to the following schedule:

Industrial, Commercial, and Business properties

New construction and improvements made to all Residential properties in the City of Erie shall be eligible for an exemption of real estate property taxes pursuant to the following schedule:

Residential properties

The exemption from taxes granted under this program shall not terminate upon the sale or exchange of the property.

Applicants must pay a one-time application fee at the time of submission of LERTA application. This fee is as follows:

Nature of ExemptionApplication Fee
Residential Improvements$25.00
Residential New Construction$25.00
Industrial, Commercial, Business Improvements$100.00
Industrial, Commercial, Business New Construction$100.00

Special Note on Deteriorated/Demolished Property (Commercial/Industrial or Residential): 

In any case where deteriorated property (Commercial/Industrial or Residential) is damaged, destroyed, or demolished, by any cause or for any reason, and the assessed valuation of the property affected has been reduced as the result of such damage, destruction, or demolition, the exemption from real property taxation shall be limited to the actual cost of improvements or construction that is in excess of the original assessment that existed prior to damage, destruction, or demolition of the property. In the event that a property has been fully demolished by demolition permit, and has remained vacant of any structure after the expiration of one year from the time of issue of the permit, then the assessed value of the demolished improvements shall thereafter not be subject to taxation.

Processing: To ensure the property owners receive the benefit, the City of Erie files the LERTA Application and a copy of the approved Building Permit with the Erie County Assessment Office on behalf of the property owner prior to the start of new construction/renovations. The City of Erie Zoning Officer and staff members of the City’s Building Inspection/Permits Office will assist property owners and/or their contractors with this process. They may be reached at (814) 870-1313.

Click here to view listings of those permits which have been issued by the City of Erie.

Sunset Provision: 

The provisions of the LERTA Ordinance shall expire on the tenth anniversary of its enactment (06/30/2029), unless extended by ordinance duly adopted.


For more information on this real estate tax incentive, please contact:

Chris Groner, Director of Economic and Community Development

Phone: (814) 870-1272 or Email: cgroner@erie.pa.us

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