January 16, 2013 by Zee
What will be the conditions for land being transferred to the land bank?
The reasons for creating the land bank stem from the lack of demand for these blighted properties; the land bank is created to spur this type of investment. Current property owners are unwilling or unable to maintain the properties and taxes.
Any land bank bill would be responsible to incorporate a more aggressive tax collection stance to avoid personal property loss in the first place.
To avoid legal complications later, every reasonable effort at contacting, and negotiating with current owners should be exhausted and should accept more alternative repayment strategies including rental garnishment for tenant occupied properties or property donation.
Land banking can also incentivize clearing up current property tax problems in order to be eligible to purchase land banked acreage. At the very least, in matters of dispute equality (say over a shared side lot that both neighbors want) tax respectful applicants (vs those currently or even formally delinquent) should be rewarded preference.
Current legislation targets all delinquencies 2 years or older equally, I disagree. I think the length of delinquency will have a bigger influence of the willingness of a delinquent owner to negotiate quickly.
Although some may argue targeting the biggest tax burdens may be a solid strategy, I disagree.
Not only should the larger more complex industrial/commercial properties be redeveloped first; city-owned properties being the first to ‘take the hit’,
but when the spotlight shines on delinquent private/residential property owners (and it will eventually) those holding debt the longest be more of a focus than the amount.
However not just private residents are guilty.
Land bank legislation is also being introduced because the various agencies handling city owned delinquent property repair, maintenance and disbursement is fragmented and inefficient.
The city should beta test the complexities of the land banking process by targeting the underutilized resources it already owns first, before targeting non-city property.
To ensure long-term success the city must invest first in the proper gathering of available accurate information for the properties, including clear financial data; transferring this info into a user-friendly software system; and making the paperwork and requirements clear and accessible for potential buyers.
Redeveloping City-Owned land first sets a model for redevelopment, gauges demand and process efficiency, as well as qualifies future redevelopment strategy.
By combining an efficient land bank system that demonstrates active seizure of property in this manner, while pursuing renewed efforts at tax collection, while may stimulate interest in settling tax matters, all of which benefits the city.