LERTA approved for York City business


A property that houses a growing York City architecture firm was accepted into a 10-year tax break program during a county commissioners meeting on Wednesday.

Murphy & Dittenhafer has seen an increase in business in its interior design division over the past couple years, causing it to recently expanded out of its landmark base, the former Hotel Codorus at 226 W. Market St., to an adjoining former furniture store at 228-230 W. Market St., said Frank Dittenhafer II, its co-founder.

"It expanded to the degree that we wanted the space to showcase our samples," he said after the meeting.

As part of the expansion process, the new property, which was in bad structural shape, had to undergo major renovations and improvements, Dittenhafer said.

LERTA: Under Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance program, used as an incentive to boost economic development, property taxes on the improvements will be phased in over the course of 10 years.

LERTA must be approved by all three taxing bodies — the county, municipality and school district — and York City council and the school board previously approved the measure, Dittenhafer said.

The 228-230 W. Market St. property that Murphy & Dittenhafer expanded to is owned by Cornerstone Realty LLC and assessed at $126,650, according to York County tax records.

The new space will allow the firm to meet with clients and showcase their sample products, such as furniture and tiles, in a larger area, Dittenhafer said.

The space can also serve as a meeting area for employees and could play host to public functions, he said, adding a grand opening ceremony is in the works.

The firm employs about 20 people.

Other news: Also during the meeting, commissioners approved an agreement between the county and York City that allows the city police service to receive just shy of $61,000 in federal funds to purchase new equipment, among other things.

The 2015 Byrne Justice Assistance Grant, often referred to as JAG, is given through the U.S. Department of Justice.

The funds will be used to buy new weapons, a cellphone analyzer, computer software, mapping equipment and other items. It will also be used to help fund community policing and gang prevention initiatives, according to the county.

An official with York City Police couldn't be reached for comment.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.