Powell signs on as primary sponsor of legislation to decrease displacement & gentrification through tax increment financing

HARRISBURG, Feb. 26 – State Rep. Lindsay Powell, D-Allegheny, has signed on as the sponsor of a bill that would utilize tax increment financing dollars for keeping individuals and families in their homes in TIF-designated districts.

The legislation, H.B. 1064, would update the Tax Increment Financing Act and allow designated districts to fund affordable housing, foreclosure and rental assistance, and workforce programs with TIF dollars. The bill would also increase the lifespan of TIF districts from 20 to 25 years and convert more of such collected monies into projects aimed at the measures outlined above.

“TIFs have been an integral component of revitalizing economically distressed areas. Funding for anti-displacement activities, however, have never been allowable costs under prior TIF guidelines,” Powell said. “While we’ve seen areas rebound as a result of this program, long-time neighborhood residents have lost their homes because of resulting increases in property values and taxes. My amendment aims to prevent those consequences in future TIF districts.

“These are commonsense changes to the program that should garner bipartisan support,” Powell continued. “From speaking with residents, community organizations and partners in the public and private sectors, we all want to see our region thrive. This legislation would make TIF districts more effective and equitable.”

House Bill 1064 was originally introduced by current Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato, a former state representative.

Powell represents the 21st Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, which includes the Lawrenceville and Strip District neighborhoods, Millvale and Etna boroughs, and Reserve and Shaler townships in Pittsburgh.