A new property at 415 Pennington Ave. in Havre de Grace will be getting an 80 percent property tax credit.
The city council introduced a resolution at its Monday meeting that would make the property eligible for Enterprise Zone benefits, which would give it an 80 percent real property and personal property tax credits for the first five years, 70 percent in the sixth taxable year and decreasing similarly by 10 percent until the 10th taxable year.
"As long as the owner makes the investment to upgrade the property, the owner will qualify for an enterprise zone credit. The amount of the credit will depend on the amount of the investment made by the owner to improve the property," city finance director George DeHority said in an e-mail Tuesday.
DeHority explained the property's current tax base is $398,300.
"The enterprise zone credit will be based on how much the assessed value of the property increases from its current tax base," DeHority said.
"The concept is to provide partial, temporary tax relief on new improvements to entice investment by the property owner," DeHority said. "The July 1, 2013 tax bill was $2,230.48. Once the owner makes the improvements and the property is re-assessed, the amount of the tax credit can be determined."
The building will be occupied by longtime dentist John Lufburrow Jr., who is adding another story to the building.
It was formerly a county health department building.
Council members talked earlier about the economic benefit from the building's re-development in the city's historic downtown.
The building dates to 1967 and is 6,600 square feet, according to online Maryland real estate records. It was sold in 2012 for $400,000.
Council president Randy Craig said Monday the building is "definitely worthy" of the tax credit for all the construction that has been going on.
Councilman Joe Smith said he hopes to see more projects similar to this one, as well as mixed-use projects.
Social media, left turn at Lewis Lane
Jeff Thompson, the city's IT manager, said improvements are on the way to HavredeGraceMD.com and HdGTourism.com, and the city also plans to boost its presence on the social media platforms Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
The city hopes for a 20 percent increase in unique visitors to its website, he said.
Two people thanked the council for the installation of a new left-turn light at Route 40 and Lewis Lane.
Charlie Packard, of Susquehanna Hose Company, said it has been the site of many fatal accidents.
The Havre de Grace High School marching band was recognized for its recent performance in New York City's Veterans Day parade, while the Havre de Grace High School Music Boosters were recognized for their craft fair.