IBJNews

Land bank bill likely heading for study committee

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

An ambitious bill aimed at reducing abandoned housing has been watered down and is likely heading for a summer study committee.

Rep. Ed Clere, R-New Albany, said his bill on land banks may have tried to tackle too many issues involving abandoned housing, including Indiana’s tax-sale process.

It’s such a complicated issue with so many stakeholders we may have to break it down into even smaller bites,” Clere said.

The bill was important to Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s administration, which already uses a land bank, and the legislation was supported by the Indiana Association for Community and Economic Development. Clere said he also had support from Habitat for Humanity and the Indiana Association of Realtors.

But the bill faced opposition from the Association of Indiana Counties, which said it would have diverted revenue away from public uses and given land banks the ability to pick and choose the best real estate, saddling taxpayers with truly blighted properties.

“Rather than let the bill die, I decided to amend it to provide for study of the issue,” Clere said. House Bill 1317 cleared the lower chamber before last month’s deadline and is before the Senate Committee on Local Government.

The original bill gave municipalities explicit authority to set up land banks, and it provided for tax-delinquent properties to be transferred from a county to a land bank at no cost.

“Who gets to make the call on what properties go to the land bank?” asked Andrew Berger, director of government affairs for the Association of Indiana Counties. “Our position is, it needs to be done by the county officials, not an unelected, unaccountable not-for-profit board.”

Berger said the Indy Land Bank, which sold 154 properties to a not-for-profit organization serving as a straw buyer for real estate investors, is a prime example of why land banks’ powers should not be expanded. The 2011 deal prompted the land bank, operated by the Department of Metropolitan Development, and Marion County Treasurer Claudia Fuentes to halt bulk sales to not-for-profits.

Indianapolis has roughly 15,000 abandoned and vacant houses and lots. The Indy Land Bank holds 1,200 surplus properties, thanks to a 2006 law that allows land banks to be set up by counties.

The bill also made several changes to Indiana's process of auctioning tax-delinquent property. Under the current system, investors who step in to pay back taxes receive a tax-sale certificate that allows them to collect interest from the property owners. Clere says that redemption process is a problem because it leaves properties in limbo for six to 12 months. He hoped to address it in part by requiring counties to notify lenders when a property is slated for tax sale. That would give banks an opportunity to pay the back taxes before an auction.

But counties oppose mandatory notification of lenders, which would add title-search costs. A court case on the notification-requirement issue is currently before the Indiana Supreme Court.

"This is a titanic battle between the association of counties and banks," Clere said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Of what value is selling alcoholic beverages to State Fair patrons when there are many families with children attending. Is this the message we want to give children attending and participating in the Fair, another venue with alooholic consumption onsite. Is this to promote beer and wine production in the state which are great for the breweries and wineries, but where does this end up 10-15 years from now, lots more drinkers for the alcoholic contents. If these drinks are so important, why not remove the alcohol content and the flavor and drink itself similar to soft drinks would be the novelty, not the alcoholic content and its affects on the drinker. There is no social or material benefit from drinking alcoholic beverages, mostly people want to get slightly or highly drunk.

  2. I did;nt know anyone in Indiana could count- WHY did they NOT SAY just HOW this would be enforced? Because it WON;T! NOW- with that said- BIG BROTHER is ALIVE in this Article-why take any comment if it won't appease YOU PEOPLE- that's NOT American- with EVERYTHING you indicated is NOT said-I can see WHY it say's o Comments- YOU are COMMIES- BIG BROTHER and most likely- voted for Obama!

  3. In Europe there are schools for hairdressing but you don't get a license afterwards but you are required to assist in turkey and Italy its 7 years in japan it's 10 years England 2 so these people who assist know how to do hair their not just anybody and if your an owner and you hire someone with no experience then ur an idiot I've known stylist from different countries with no license but they are professional clean and safe they have no license but they have experience a license doesn't mean anything look at all the bad hairdressers in the world that have fried peoples hair okay but they have a license doesn't make them a professional at their job I think they should get rid of it because stateboard robs stylist and owners and they fine you for the dumbest f***ing things oh ur license isn't displayed 100$ oh ur wearing open toe shoes fine, oh there's ONE HAIR IN UR BRUSH that's a fine it's like really? So I think they need to go or ease up on their regulations because their too strict

  4. Exciting times in Carmel.

  5. Twenty years ago when we moved to Indy I was a stay at home mom and knew not very many people.WIBC was my family and friends for the most part. It was informative, civil, and humerous with Dave the KING. Terri, Jeff, Stever, Big Joe, Matt, Pat and Crumie. I loved them all, and they seemed to love each other. I didn't mind Greg Garrison, but I was not a Rush fan. NOW I can't stand Chicks and all their giggly opinions. Tony Katz is to abrasive that early in the morning(or really any time). I will tune in on Saturday morning for the usual fun and priceless information from Pat and Crumie, mornings it will be 90.1

ADVERTISEMENT