A new law will streamline permitting for businesses seeking to expand or invest in Pennsylvania’s natural resources sector. It will significantly shorten the time required for the review and approval of permits by up to a factor of three times.

The law, enacted by the General Assembly and signed by the governor, will provide streamlined and expedited reviews of permits for the mining, processing and transportation of oil and gas and other products that benefit from a similar treatment. It also shortens the period of time it takes creditors to process foreclosures on abandoned properties, reducing the blight these vacant homes can create in communities.

A Philadelphia-based developer faces lawsuits from homeowners over the quality of its new construction. The homeowners say they suffered from water damage caused by faulty plumbing and roofing. The builders say they followed industry standards, but Horn Williamson, which represents the homeowners, says the builders deviated from them.

Josh and Melissa Stolle bought theirĀ Streamlined Pennsylvania Property Transactions Street house in Kensington in 2015. They thought buying a brand-new home would mean fewer maintenance worries. But the couple quickly found they had roof leaks and needed to redo incorrectly installed piping for natural gas and water lines. The Stolle’s problems weren’t the only ones reported by Streamline homebuyers, who identified themselves to PlanPhilly as part of a larger group of families who had water infiltration issues in their houses.

A jury on Friday sided with the homeowners in a lawsuit against Streamline Construction, awarding each of them damages equal to their purchase price. The verdict was the latest blow for Streamline, which says it has “taken steps to remedy problems,” but acknowledges it hasn’t met all of its obligations to homeowners. The firm has obtained judgments and arbitration awards of more than $1.5 million from Streamline for the four homeowners, and has other cases in various stages.

What Are the Sales Tax Rules in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania is a destination-based state for sales tax, meaning that the seller must collect sales tax from buyers located within the state. This is different from most other states, which use an origin-based system for collecting sales tax.

The state’s sales tax rate is 6%, which does not include local taxes. Unlike many other states, the state does not have a tax credit or refund system for losses on the sale of property. Gains and losses on the sale or exchange of personal property, such as real estate, are reported on PA-40 Schedule D. A special rule applies if the dealer exchanges personal property for real property and the proceeds from the exchange are invested in another piece of real property in Pennsylvania. This type of transaction is reported on PA-40 Schedule D as a gain on the exchange of property for business purposes. A special exemption exists for the sale of a principal residence. In order to qualify for this exclusion, a person cannot have used the property for business or rental purposes and must have been a resident of Pennsylvania in the year of the sale.