As One Municipality Leaves Act 47, One Takes its Place

As One Municipality Leaves Act 47, One Takes its Place

We blogged last week about Altoona (Blair County) being released from a relatively short stay in Act 47 distressed status (the official note on the rescission has been posted on the Department of Community and Economic Development’s website) and the date of release from the recovery status was September 13th.

Just one day prior to that good news for Altoona was the official declaration of distress for the City of Hazelton (Luzerne County).  At the present time, 19 municipalities are declared distressed, and since the passage of the law thirty years ago 13 have been released from distressed status.  Three of those former Act 47 communities are in Luzerne County.

Hazelton met two criteria under Act 47 (Section 201), specifically number 1 and number 2 pertaining to a deficit over the previous three years and expenditures outpacing revenues.  The City applied for an emergency loan under the terms of the statute and it was also found that there has been a 5% decrease in the assessed value in the City since 2011.  The municipality will be guided by the revised guidelines of Act 47 made by the General Assembly in 2014.