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York County OKs charter school tax deal

Greg Gross

York County commissioners this past week approved tax abatements for a city parcel that houses a charter school.

The 2-acre property at 32 W. North St. is the former Smyser-Royer building and has been home to York Academy Regional Charter School since it opened its doors in 2011.

The building, which was built before the Civil War, underwent a massive renovation project several years ago to prepare it for school children, said Jay Shaffer, controller with Kinsley Construction.

Under the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance program, property taxes on the improvements will be phased in over the course of 10 years. Taxes will still be charged throughout that time period.

Expansion plans: The school, founded by York City, York Suburban and Central York school districts, is a kindergarten through fifth-grade building but plans are in place to expand.

Over the next five years, the school plans to introduce a Middle Years Program and Diploma Program for grades seven through 12. Plans also include finding a high school facility and fully implementing International Baccalaureate programs.

York Academy earlier this year achieved International Baccalaureate World School status. It is the only school in York County to do so.

Though the site houses a school, it's not tax exempt because the property is owned by a private company, 32 W. North LLC, a business that is under the umbrella of Kinsley Construction.

The building: The former ironworks building is part of the Northwest Triangle redevelopment area, near Sovereign Bank Stadium at the corner of North Beaver and North streets.

Under LERTA, property taxes on the improvements will be phased in over the next 10 years. It can be granted by one or all the three taxing bodies — the county, municipality and school district.

York City council and the city school board previously accepted the property into their LERTA programs, Shaffer said.

The property is valued at $3.8 million, according to county tax records.

— Reach Greg Gross at