Norfolk Southern Car Shop in Hollidaysburg no longer tax exempt

The Blair County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday agreed to place the once Hollidaysburg Car Shop on the real estate tax rolls.
According to Commissioner John Ebersole, the decision was made because the group who was using the land, Norfolk Southern Corp., closed the shop midway through 2002, and in turn, stopped using the land for the agreed upon purposes, which entitled the company for tax-free status.
“They’ve been tax exempt for years and now that they have closed, state law says if they are not operating for the purposes intended, it then becomes taxable,” said Ebersole this morning. “That’s where we stand right now.”
Ebersole said the taxes will add nearly $100,000 in revenue to the county, Hollidaysburg Area School District and Hollidaysburg Borough.
Ebersole also noted that Norfolk Southern could file an appeal to the decision, but noted that if Norfolk decided not to pay the taxes, the property would be placed for tax sale. He said the sale would occur after three years.
Commissioners noted that if the land is sold in a tax sale and the purchaser of the land uses it for a public utility or for job creation, the new owner could be exempt from the taxes.
The public relations director with Norfolk Southern was not available for comment this morning.
The commissioners also conducted routine business. The next meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. Jan. 7.