An Opportunity to Revitalize, Develop & Save!

The City of Altoona, the Altoona Area School District and Blair County adopted a Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance area (LERTA) as shown on the map. Under provisions of City's Ordinance you may be entitled to a tax incentive for the rehab and development of qualified business property, which is phased in over a five year period. We invite you to review our ordinance and designated LERTA Map. Properties located in the designated area, highlighted on the attached map, may be entitled to property tax exemption on contemplated improvement or new construction.

What is LERTA?

The Local Economic Revitalization Assistance (LERTA) Program, authorized by PA Act 76 of 1977, and Ordinance of the Governing Body of the City of Altoona, is a great way to encourage revitalization and new construction in the City of Altoona. Properties that qualify for LERTA are exempt from real property tax, as described in the Exemption Schedule of the Ordinance. Altoona City Council extended their LERTA for an additional five years as described in the amended Ordinance.

How Does LERTA work?

The LERTA Program creates a graduated increased in tax payments for any LERTA qualifying property located in the designated LERTA District.

Applying for LERTA

Any property owner in the designated LERTA Area desiring tax exemption is welcome to apply at the time of obtaining a building permit. For questions or for more information about these tax incentives, contact the City of Altoona Codes & Inspections Department, Rebecca Brown, Director, at 814-949-2456 or, the Altoona Blair County Development Corporation (ABCD Corp.) at 814-944-6113.

Additional Economic Development Incentive Zones in the City of Altoona

Keystone Enterprise Zone

The PA Department of Community & Economic Development has designated the entire City of Altoona as a Keystone Enterprise Zone. This gives economic development projects access to capital through state managed programs like the Keystone Communities Revitalization Loans and the Local Enterprise Zone Revovling Loan Fund, managed by the Altoona Blair County Development Corporation (ABCD Corp.). Businesses in a Keystone Enterprise Zone may get priority in bidding state contracts, applying for financial aid to clean up contaminated sites under Act II, or even applying for a liquor license. In addition, firms making an investment in the Keystone Enterprise Zone have access to Neighborhood Assistance Program Enterprise Zone Tax Credits. Please contact ABCD Corp. at 814-944-6113 or www.abcdcorp.org for more details.

Federal Qualified Opportunity Zone (or QOZ)

The City of Altoona also is home to a Federal Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ), as authorized in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (https://dced.pa.gov/programs-funding/federal-funding-opportunities/qualified-opportunity-zones/). "Opportunity Funds" managed by private firms and professionals are being formed to invest directly into such zones. Individuals may also form, fund, and self manage an Opportunity Fund through a "self-certification" process. Investments made through these special funds in these zones may be allowed to defer or eliminate federal taxes on capital gains. Altoona's QOZ is shown in blue on the map below, and it overlaps with the City's LERTA in Downtown Altoona. Any questions about the City's QOZ should be directed to the Altoona Blair County Development Corporation at 814-944-6113 or https://www.abcdcorp.org.

The City of Altoona welcomes investment. Altoona City Council, staff of the Altoona Blair County Development Corporation, and the City's Department of Community Development have decades of experience in helping business dreams become a reality in one of Pennsylvania's most beautiful revitalizing cities. We are prepared to assist you as your economic development concierge every step of the way, from identifying capital and investors to finding sites. Please contact the City of Altoona or ABCD Corporation for assistance.