Legislation sponsored by Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) that provides communities with another tool for fighting blight has been signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf. Act 33 of 2021, formerly House Bill 264
, requires tax sale participants to register beforehand, which will assist municipalities in identifying the owners of blighted properties in a timely manner.
“Oftentimes, the owners of blighted properties hide behind many corporate names, making it difficult for Pennsylvania municipalities to track them down,” said Heffley. “This new law will lift that corporate veil and enable code officials to more easily and quickly locate negligent property owners. Blight is a significant problem in communities large and small across the Commonwealth and I am pleased we now have another option for dealing with it.”
Specifically, Act 33 creates a pre-registration requirement for potential bidders at tax sales. Any potential bidder must appear at the county tax claim bureau no less than 10 days before the scheduled sale to register. Under the new law, counties may also establish a registration fee.
Registration requires providing contact information and a signed affidavit stating the bidder is not delinquent on any taxes or municipal utility bills or engaged in any unsafe property management activity. The tax claim bureau then provides the list of applicants to the municipality at least five days prior to the sale.
Heffley noted that the legislation was a top priority of the bicameral, bipartisan Statewide Blight Task Force.
The new law will take effect in 60 days.
Representative Doyle Heffley
122nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Andy Briggs