Mullery bill would help revitalize neighborhoods

HARRISBURG, March 8 – Municipal governments would have an additional tool to fight blight and combat absentee landlords under legislation recently introduced by state Rep. Gerald Mullery.

“A big part of community revitalization efforts is ensuring there are safe, quality buildings owned by a reliable tax base. Current Pennsylvania law gives municipalities the ability to deny permits to individuals who have delinquent taxes, outstanding municipal fees, or have building code violations within the municipality. However, if the delinquent applicant forms a limited liability corporation and reapplies for permits, the municipality may be forced to issue the permits,” said Mullery, who drafted the bill after learning of the loophole during a discussion with West Hazleton officials.

“It is time to put an end to this loophole and help our municipal governments. My legislation would give power to the municipality to deny a permit to an LLC not only when the LLC has delinquencies, but also if one of its principals has any delinquencies in the municipality,” he said.

House Bill 645 has bipartisan co-sponsors and awaits action by the House Local Government Committee.