SENATE AMENDED

 

PRIOR PRINTER'S NOS. 2127, 2902, 3105

PRINTER'S NO.  4185

  

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA

  

HOUSE BILL

 

No.

1682

Session of

2011

  

  

INTRODUCED BY TAYLOR, THOMAS, ROSS, BRENNAN, BUXTON, CALTAGIRONE, COHEN, D. COSTA, P. COSTA, CREIGHTON, DEASY, DERMODY, FARRY, FREEMAN, GEIST, GROVE, HARHART, HENNESSEY, HESS, JOHNSON, JOSEPHS, W. KELLER, KILLION, KOTIK, KULA, LONGIETTI, MANN, MILLER, MILNE, MURT, M. O'BRIEN, READSHAW, REICHLEY, SABATINA, STURLA, SWANGER, VULAKOVICH, WAGNER, YOUNGBLOOD, RAVENSTAHL, DAVIS, DALEY, HORNAMAN, SONNEY, HACKETT AND QUINN, JUNE 17, 2011

  

  

AS AMENDED ON THIRD CONSIDERATION, IN SENATE, OCTOBER 3, 2012   

  

  

  

AN ACT

  

1

Amending Title 68 (Real and Personal Property) of the

2

Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, providing for the

3

creation of land banks for the conversion of vacant or tax-

4

delinquent properties into productive use.

5

The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

6

hereby enacts as follows:

7

Section 1.  Part II of Title 68 of the Pennsylvania

8

Consolidated Statutes is amended by adding a subpart to read:

9

SUBPART A

10

PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

11

Chapter

12

21.  Land Banks

13

CHAPTER 21

14

LAND BANKS

15

Sec.

 


1

2101.  Scope of chapter.

2

2102.  Legislative findings and purpose.

3

2103.  Definitions.

4

2104.  Creation and existence.

5

2105.  Board.

6

2106.  Staff.

7

2107.  Powers.

8

2108.  Eminent domain.

9

2109.  Acquisition of property.

10

2110.  Disposition of property.

11

2111.  Financing of land bank operations.

12

2112.  Borrowing and issuance of bonds.

13

2113.  Public records and public access.

14

2114.  Dissolution of land bank.

15

2115.  Conflicts of interest.

16

2116.  Construction, intent and scope.

17

2117.  Delinquent property tax enforcement.

18

2118.  Expedited quiet title proceedings.

19

2119.  Annual audit and report.

20

2120.  Determination on procedural revision.

21

§ 2101.  Scope of chapter.

22

This chapter relates to land banks.

23

§ 2102.  Legislative findings and purpose.

24

The General Assembly finds and declares that:

25

(1)  Strong communities are important to the social and

26

economic vitality of this Commonwealth. Whether urban,

27

suburban or rural, many communities are struggling to cope

28

with vacant, abandoned and tax-delinquent properties.

29

(2)  Citizens of this Commonwealth are affected adversely

30

by vacant, abandoned and tax-delinquent properties, including

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1

properties which have been vacated or abandoned due to

2

mortgage foreclosure.

3

(3)  Vacant, abandoned and tax-delinquent properties

4

impose significant costs on neighborhoods, communities and

5

municipalities by lowering property values, increasing fire

6

and police protection costs, decreasing tax revenues and

7

undermining community cohesion.

8

(4)  There is an overriding public need to confront the

9

problems caused by vacant, abandoned and tax-delinquent

10

properties through the creation of new tools to enable

11

municipalities to turn vacant, abandoned and tax-delinquent

12

spaces into vibrant places.

13

(5)  Land banks are one of the tools that municipalities

14

may use to facilitate the return of vacant, abandoned and

15

tax-delinquent properties to productive use.

16

§ 2103.  Definitions.

17

The following words and phrases when used in this chapter

18

shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the

19

context clearly indicates otherwise:

20

"Board."  The board of directors of a land bank.

21

"Department."  The Department of Community and Economic

22

Development of the Commonwealth.

23

"Financial institution."  A bank, savings association,

24

operating subsidiary of a bank or savings association, credit

25

union, association licensed to originate mortgage loans or an

26

assignee of a mortgage or note originated by such an

27

institution.

28

"Land bank."  A public body and a body corporate and politic

29

established under this chapter.

30

"Land bank jurisdiction."

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1

(1)  a county, a city, a borough, a township and an

2

incorporated town with a population of more than 10,000; or

3

(2)  two or more municipalities with populations less

4

than 10,000 that enter into an intergovernmental cooperation

5

agreement to establish and maintain a land bank.

6

"Low income."  A household with total income at or below 80%

7

of the area median income, adjusted for household size, as

8

defined annually by the United States Department of Housing and

9

Urban Development.

10

"Municipality."  A county, city, borough, incorporated town,

11

township or home rule municipality.

12

"Owner-occupant."  A natural person with a legal or equitable

13

ownership interest in property which was the primary residence

14

of the person for at least three consecutive months at any point

15

in the year preceding the date of initial delinquency.

16

"Real property."  Land and all structures and fixtures

17

thereon and all estates and interests in land, including

18

easements, covenants and leaseholders.

19

"School district."  Any of the classifications of school

20

districts specified in section 202 of the act of March 10, 1949

21

(P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949. The

22

term includes, as to any real property acquired, owned or

23

conveyed by a land bank, the school district within whose

24

geographical jurisdiction the real property is located.

25

§ 2104.  Creation and existence.

26

(a)  Authority.--Subject, in a city of the first class, to

27

the home rule charter, a land bank jurisdiction may elect to

28

create a land bank by the adoption of an ordinance to create a

29

binding legal obligation. The ordinance must specify the

30

following:

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1

(1)  The name of the land bank.

2

(2)  The number of members of the board.

3

(3)  The names of individuals to serve as initial members

4

of the board and the length of terms which they will serve.

5

(4)  The qualifications, manner of selection or

6

appointment and terms of office of members of the board.

7

(5)  The manner by which residents will be provided an

8

opportunity to have input into the land bank decision-making

9

process.

10

(6)  Policies regarding former owner-occupants who are 

11

occupying homes acquired by the land bank. These policies

12

shall show a preference for keeping the former owner-

13

occupants in their homes, whenever feasible.

14

(7)  Additional terms and conditions the land bank

15

jurisdiction deems reasonable and necessary for operation of

16

the land bank.

17

(b)  Filing.--The governing body of the land bank

18

jurisdiction which creates a land bank shall file a copy of the

19

ordinance with the department and with the Department of State.

20

After receipt of the ordinance, the Secretary of the

21

Commonwealth shall issue a certificate of incorporation.

22

(c)  Combinations.--

23

(1)  The authority under subsection (a) may be exercised

24

in combination pursuant to an intergovernmental cooperation

25

agreement by:

26

(i)  more than one land bank jurisdiction; or

27

(ii)  a land bank jurisdiction and one or more

28

municipalities.

29

(2)  If a land bank is established under paragraph (1),

30

the intergovernmental cooperation agreement must specify

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1

matters identified in subsection (a).

2

(d)  Limitation.--Except as set forth in subsection (c), if a

3

county establishes a land bank, the land bank shall have the

4

power to acquire real property only in those portions of the

5

county located outside of the geographical boundaries of any

6

other land bank established by another land bank jurisdiction

7

located partially or entirely within the county.

8

(e)  Participation by school district.--A school district may

9

participate in a land bank pursuant to an intergovernmental

10

cooperation agreement. The agreement must specify the

11

membership, if any, of the school district on the board of the

12

land bank and the actions of the land bank which are subject to

13

approval by the school district.

14

(f)  Legal status of land bank.--A land bank shall:

15

(1)  be a public body corporate and politic; and

16

(2)  have duration until terminated and dissolved under

17

section 2114 (relating to dissolution of land bank).

18

(g)  Collaboration.--A land bank, a political subdivision and

19

another municipal entity may enter into an intergovernmental

20

cooperation agreement relative to the operations of a land bank.

21

§ 2105.  Board.

22

(a)  Membership.--A board shall consist of an odd number of

23

members and be not less than 5 members nor more than 11 members.

24

Unless restricted by the actions or agreements specified in

25

section 2104 (relating to creation and existence) and subject to

26

the limits stated in this section, the size of the board may be

27

adjusted in accordance with bylaws of the land bank.

28

(b)  Eligibility to serve on board.--

29

(1)  Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a public

30

officer shall be eligible to serve as a board member, and the

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1

acceptance of the appointment shall neither terminate nor

2

impair that public office.

3

(2)  A municipal employee shall be eligible to serve as a

4

board member.

5

(3)  An established land bank board shall include at

6

least one voting member who:

7

(i)  is a resident of the land bank jurisdiction;

8

(ii)  is not a public official or municipal employee;

9

and

10

(iii)  maintains membership with a recognized civic

11

organization within the land bank jurisdiction.

12

(4)  A member removed under subsection (d)(3) shall be

13

ineligible for reappointment to the board unless the

14

reappointment is confirmed unanimously by the board.

15

(5)  As used in this subsection, the term "public

16

officer" means an individual who is elected to a municipal

17

office.

18

(c)  Officers.--The members of the board shall select

19

annually from among their members a chair, vice chair,

20

secretary, treasurer and other officers as the board determines.

21

(d)  Rules.--The board shall establish rules on all of the

22

following:

23

(1)  Duties of officers under subsection (c).

24

(2)  Attendance and participation of members in its

25

regular and special meetings.

26

(3)  A procedure to remove a member by a majority vote of

27

the other members for failure to comply with a rule.

28

(4)  Other matters necessary to govern the conduct of a

29

land bank.

30

(e)  Vacancies.--A vacancy on the board shall be filled in

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1

the same manner as the original appointment. Upon removal under

2

subsection (d)(3), the position shall become vacant.

3

(f)  Compensation.--Board members shall serve without

4

compensation. The board may reimburse a member for expenses

5

actually incurred in the performance of duties on behalf of the

6

land bank.

7

(g)  Meetings.--

8

(1)  The board shall meet as follows:

9

(i)  In regular session according to a schedule

10

adopted by the board.

11

(ii)  In special session:

12

(A)  as convened by the chair; or

13

(B)  upon written notice signed by a majority of

14

the members.

15

(2)  A majority of the board, excluding vacancies,

16

constitutes a quorum. Physical presence is required under

17

this paragraph.

18

(h)  Voting.--

19

(1)  Except as set forth in paragraph (2) or (3), action

20

of the board must be approved by the affirmative vote of a

21

majority of the board present and voting.

22

(2)  Action of the board on the following matters must be

23

approved by a majority of the entire board membership:

24

(i)  Adoption of bylaws.

25

(ii)  Adoption of rules under subsection (d).

26

(iii)  Hiring or firing of an employee or contractor

27

of the land bank. This function may, by majority vote of

28

the entire board membership, be delegated by the board to

29

a specified officer or committee of the land bank.

30

(iv)  Incurring of debt.

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1

(v)  Adoption or amendment of the annual budget.

2

(vi)  Sale, lease, encumbrance or alienation of real

3

property or personal property with a value of more than

4

$50,000.

5

(3)  A resolution under section 2114 (relating to

6

dissolution of a land bank) must be approved by two-thirds of

7

the entire board membership.

8

(4)  A member of the board may not vote by proxy.

9

(5)  A member may request a recorded vote on any

10

resolution or action of the land bank.

11

(i)  Immunity.--A land bank jurisdiction which establishes a

12

land bank and a municipality and a school district which are

13

parties to an intergovernmental cooperation agreement

14

establishing a land bank shall not be liable personally on the

15

bonds or other obligations of the land bank. Rights of creditors

16

of a land bank shall be solely against the land bank.

17

§ 2106.  Staff.

18

(a)  Employees.--A land bank may employ or enter into a

19

contract for an executive director, counsel and legal staff,

20

technical experts and other individuals and may determine the

21

qualifications and fix the compensation and benefits of those

22

employees.

23

(b)  Contracts.--A land bank may enter into a contract with a

24

municipality for:

25

(1)  the municipality to provide staffing services to the

26

land bank; or

27

(2)  the land bank to provide staffing services to the

28

municipality.

29

§ 2107.  Powers.

30

A land bank constitutes a public body, corporate and politic,

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1

exercising public powers of the Commonwealth necessary or

2

appropriate to carry out this chapter, including the following

3

powers:

4

(1)  To adopt, amend and repeal bylaws for the regulation

5

of its affairs and the conduct of its business.

6

(2)  To sue and be sued in its own name and be a party in

7

a civil action. This paragraph includes an action to clear

8

title to property of the land bank.

9

(3)  To adopt a seal and to alter the same at pleasure.

10

(4)  To borrow from Federal Government funds, from the

11

Commonwealth, from private lenders or from municipalities, as

12

necessary, for the operation and work of the land bank.

13

(5)  To issue negotiable revenue bonds and notes

14

according to the provisions of this chapter.

15

(6)  To procure insurance or guarantees from the Federal

16

Government or the Commonwealth of the payment of debt

17

incurred by the land bank, and to pay premiums in connection

18

with the insurance or guarantee.

19

(7)  To enter into contracts and other instruments

20

necessary, incidental or convenient to the performance of its

21

duties and the exercise of its powers. This paragraph

22

includes intergovernmental cooperation agreements under 53

23

Pa.C.S. Ch. 23 Subch. A (relating to intergovernmental

24

cooperation) for the joint exercise of powers under this

25

chapter.

26

(8)  To enter into contracts and intergovernmental

27

cooperation agreements with municipalities for the

28

performance of functions by municipalities on behalf of the

29

land bank or by the land bank on behalf of municipalities.

30

(9)  To make and execute contracts and other instruments

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1

necessary or convenient to the exercise of the powers of the

2

land bank. Any contract or instrument signed shall be

3

executed by and for the land bank if the contract or

4

instrument is signed, including an authorized facsimile

5

signature, by:

6

(i)  the chair or vice chair of the land bank; and

7

(ii)  either:

8

(A)  the secretary or assistant secretary of the

9

land bank; or

10

(B)  the treasurer or assistant treasurer of the

11

land bank.

12

(10)  To procure insurance against losses in connection

13

with the real property, assets or activities of the land

14

bank.

15

(11)  To invest money of the land bank at the discretion

16

of the board in instruments, obligations, securities or

17

property determined proper by the board and to name and use

18

depositories for its money.

19

(12)  To enter into contracts for the management of, the

20

collection of rent from or the sale of real property of the

21

land bank.

22

(13)  To design, develop, construct, demolish,

23

reconstruct, rehabilitate, renovate, relocate and otherwise

24

improve real property or rights or interests in real

25

property.

26

(14)  To fix, charge and collect rents, fees and charges

27

for the use of real property of the land bank and for

28

services provided by the land bank.

29

(15)  To grant or acquire licenses, easements, leases or

30

options with respect to real property of the land bank.

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1

(16)  To enter into partnerships, joint ventures and

2

other collaborative relationships with municipalities and

3

other public and private entities for the ownership,

4

management, development and disposition of real property.

5

(17)  To organize and reorganize the executive,

6

administrative, clerical and other departments of the land

7

bank and to fix the duties, powers and compensation of

8

employees, agents and consultants of the land bank.

9

(18)  To do all other things necessary or convenient to

10

achieve the objectives and purposes of the land bank or other

11

law related to the purposes and responsibility of the land

12

bank.

13

§ 2108.  Eminent domain.

14

A land bank does not possess the power of eminent domain.

15

§ 2109.  Acquisition of property.

16

(a)  Title to be held in its name.--A land bank shall hold in

17

its own name all real property it acquires.

18

(b)  Tax exemption.--

19

(1)  Except as set forth in paragraph (2), the real

20

property of a land bank and its income and operations are

21

exempt from State and local tax.

22

(2)  Paragraph (1) does not apply to real property of a

23

land bank after the fifth consecutive year in which the real

24

property is continuously leased to a private third party.

25

However, real property shall continue to be exempt from State

26

and local taxes if it is leased to a nonprofit or

27

governmental agency at substantially less than fair market

28

value.

29

(c)  Methods of acquisition.--A land bank may acquire real

30

property or interests in real property by any means on terms and

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1

conditions and in a manner the land bank considers proper.

2

(d)  Acquisitions from municipalities.--

3

(1)  A land bank may acquire real property by purchase

4

contracts, lease purchase agreements, installment sales

5

contracts and land contracts and may accept transfers from

6

municipalities upon terms and conditions as agreed to by the

7

land bank and the municipality.

8

(2)  A municipality may transfer to a land bank real

9

property and interests in real property of the municipality

10

on terms and conditions and according to procedures

11

determined by the municipality as long as the real property

12

is located within the jurisdiction of the land bank.

13

(3)  A redevelopment authority located within a land bank

14

jurisdiction established under this chapter may, with the

15

consent of the local governing body and without a

16

redevelopment contract, convey property which it acquired

17

before the effective date of this paragraph to the land bank.

18

A conveyance under this paragraph shall be with fee simple

19

title, free of all liens and encumbrances.

20

(e)  Maintenance.--A land bank shall maintain all of its real

21

property in accordance with the statutes and ordinances of the

22

jurisdiction in which the real property is located.

23

(f)  Prohibition.--

24

(1)  Subject to the provisions of paragraph (2), a land

25

bank may not own or hold real property located outside the

26

jurisdictional boundaries of the entities which created the

27

land bank under section 2104(c) (relating to creation and

28

existence).

29

(2)  A land bank may be granted authority pursuant to an

30

intergovernmental cooperation agreement with a municipality

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1

to manage and maintain real property located within the

2

jurisdiction of the municipality.

3

(g)  Tax claim bureaus.--A tax claim bureau may transfer to a

4

land bank real property of the county held by the tax claim

5

bureau, as trustee for the county, in a repository for unsold

6

property under section 626 of the act of July 7, 1947 (P.L.1368,

7

No.542), known as the Real Estate Tax Sale Law.

8

(h)  Acquisition of tax delinquent properties.--If authorized

9

by the land bank jurisdiction which created a land bank or

10

otherwise by intergovernmental cooperation agreement, a land

11

bank may accept donations of real property and extinguish

12

delinquent claims for taxes as to the property under section 5.1

13

of the act of May 16, 1923 (P.L.207, No.153), referred to as the

14

Municipal Claim and Tax Lien Law, or section 303 of the Real

15

Estate Tax Sale Law. For the purposes of this subsection, the

16

land bank shall have all rights and obligations of the

17

municipality provided for in section 5.1 of the Municipal Claim

18

and Tax Lien Law and of a local taxing authority provided for in

19

section 303 of the Real Estate Tax Sale Law.

20

§ 2110.  Disposition of property.

21

(a)  Public access to inventory.--A land bank shall maintain

22

and make available for public review and inspection an inventory

23

of real property held by the land bank.

24

(b)  Power.--A land bank may convey, exchange, sell,

25

transfer, lease, grant or mortgage interests in real property of

26

the land bank in the form and by the method determined to be in

27

the best interests of the land bank.

28

(c)  Consideration.--

29

(1)  A land bank shall determine the amount and form of

30

consideration necessary to convey, exchange, sell, transfer,

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1

lease as lessor, grant or mortgage interests in real

2

property.

3

(2)  Consideration may take the form of monetary payments

4

and secured financial obligations, covenants and conditions

5

related to the present and future use of the property,

6

contractual commitments of the transferee and other forms of

7

consideration as determined by the board to be in the best

8

interest of the land bank.

9

(d)  Policies and procedures.--

10

(1)  A board shall determine and state in the land bank

11

policies and procedures the general terms and conditions for

12

consideration to be received by the land bank for the

13

transfer of real property and interests in real property.

14

(2)  Requirements which may be applicable to the

15

disposition of real property and interests in real property

16

by municipalities shall not be applicable to the disposition

17

of real property and interests in real property by a land

18

bank.

19

(e)  Ranking of priorities.--

20

(1)  A land bank jurisdiction may establish a

21

hierarchical ranking of priorities for the use of real

22

property conveyed by a land bank, including use for:

23

(i)  Purely public spaces and places.

24

(ii)  Affordable housing.

25

(iii)  Retail, commercial and industrial activities.

26

(iv)  Conservation areas.

27

(2)  The priorities established may be for the entire

28

land bank jurisdiction or may be set according to the needs

29

of different neighborhoods, municipalities or other locations

30

within the land bank jurisdiction, or according to the nature

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1

of the real property.

2

(f)  Land use plans.--A land bank shall consider all duly

3

adopted land use plans and make reasonable efforts to coordinate

4

the disposition of land bank real property with such land use

5

plans.

6

(g)  Specific voting and approval requirements.--

7

(1)  A land bank jurisdiction may, in its ordinance

8

creating a land bank or, in the case of multiple land bank

9

jurisdictions and municipalities creating a single land bank

10

in the applicable intergovernmental cooperation agreement,

11

require that a particular form of disposition of real

12

property or a disposition of real property located within

13

specified jurisdictions be subject to specified voting and

14

approval requirements of the board.

15

(2)  Except as restricted or constrained under paragraph

16

(1), the board may delegate to officers and employees the

17

authority to enter into and execute agreements, instruments

18

of conveyance and other related documents pertaining to the

19

conveyance of real property by the land bank.

20

§ 2111.  Financing of land bank operations.

21

(a)  General rule.--A land bank may receive funding through

22

grants and loans from:

23

(1)  the Federal Government;

24

(2)  the Commonwealth;

25

(3)  a municipality;

26

(4)  the land bank jurisdiction which created the land

27

bank; and

28

(5)  private sources.

29

(b)  Funding.--A land bank may receive and retain payments

30

for services rendered, for rents and leasehold payments

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1

received, for consideration for disposition of real and personal

2

property, for proceeds of insurance coverage for losses

3

incurred, for income from investments and for an asset and

4

activity lawfully permitted to a land bank under this chapter.

5

(c)  Allocated real property taxes.--

6

(1)  A taxing jurisdiction may authorize the remittance

7

or dedication of a portion of real property taxes collected

8

pursuant to the laws of this Commonwealth to a land bank on

9

real property conveyed by a land bank.

10

(2)  Allocation of property tax revenues in accordance

11

with this subsection, if authorized by the taxing

12

jurisdiction, shall commence with the first taxable year

13

following the date of conveyance and continue for a period of

14

up to five years and may not exceed a maximum of 50% of the

15

aggregate property tax revenues generated by the property.

16

(3)  Remittance or dedication of real property taxes

17

shall include the real property taxes of a school district

18

only if the school district enters into an agreement with the

19

land bank for the remittance or dedication.

20

§ 2112.  Borrowing and issuance of bonds.

21

(a)  Authority.--

22

(1)  A land bank may issue a bond for any of its

23

corporate purposes.

24

(2)  The principal and interest of a bond shall be

25

payable from the land bank's general revenue.

26

(3)  The bond may be secured by any of the following:

27

(i)  A pledge of revenue. This subparagraph includes

28

a grant or contribution from:

29

(A)  The Federal Government or a Federal agency

30

or instrumentality.

- 17 -

 


1

(B)  The Commonwealth, a Commonwealth agency or

2

an instrumentality of the Commonwealth.

3

(ii)  A mortgage of property of the land bank.

4

(b)  Nature.--The bond must meet the requirements of 13

5

Pa.C.S. § 3104 (relating to negotiable instrument).

6

(c)  Tax exempt.--A bond and the income from the bond is

7

exempt from taxation by:

8

(1)  the Commonwealth; or

9

(2)  a political subdivision.

10

(d)  Procedure.--

11

(1)  A bond must be authorized by resolution of the board

12

and shall be a limited obligation of the land bank.

13

(2)  The principal and interest, costs of issuance and

14

other costs incidental to the bond shall be payable solely

15

from the income and revenue derived from the sale, lease or

16

other disposition of the assets of the land bank. The land

17

bank may secure the bond by a mortgage or other security

18

device covering all or part of the project from which the

19

pledged revenues may be derived.

20

(3)  A refunding bond issued under this section:

21

(i)  shall be payable from:

22

(A)  a source described in this chapter; or

23

(B)  the investment of the proceeds of the

24

refunding bonds; and 

25

(ii)  shall not constitute an indebtedness or pledge

26

of the general credit of a political subdivision within

27

the meaning of a constitutional or statutory limitation

28

of indebtedness and shall contain a recital to that

29

effect.

30

(4)  A bond must comply with the authorizing resolution

- 18 -

 


1

as to:

2

(i)  form;

3

(ii)  denomination;

4

(iii)  interest rate;

5

(iv)  maturity; and

6

(v)  execution.

7

(5)  A bond may be subject to redemption at the option of

8

and in the manner determined by the board in the authorizing

9

resolution.

10

(e)  Powers of municipalities.--A municipality may elect to

11

guarantee, insure or otherwise become primarily or secondarily

12

obligated on the indebtedness of a land bank subject, however,

13

to all other provisions of law of this Commonwealth applicable

14

to municipal indebtedness.

15

(f)  Sale.--

16

(1)  A bond shall be issued, sold and delivered in

17

accordance with the terms and provisions of the authorizing

18

resolution. The board, to effectuate its best interest, may

19

determine the manner of sale, public or private, and the

20

price of the bond.

21

(2)  The resolution issuing a bond must be published in a

22

newspaper of general circulation within the jurisdiction in

23

which the land bank is located.

24

(g)  Liability.--

25

(1)  Neither the members of a land bank nor a person

26

executing the bond shall be liable personally on the bonds by

27

reason of the issuance of the bond.

28

(2)  The bond or other obligation of a land bank related

29

to a bond shall not be a debt of a municipality or of the

30

Commonwealth. A statement to this effect shall appear on the

- 19 -

 


1

face of the bond or obligation.

2

(3)  On the bond or other obligation of a land bank

3

related to a bond, all of the following apply:

4

(i)  The Commonwealth has no liability. This

5

subparagraph applies to the revenue and property of the

6

Commonwealth.

7

(ii)  A municipality has no liability. This

8

subparagraph applies to the revenue and property of a 

9

municipality.

10

§ 2113.  Public records and public access.

11

(a)  Public records.--A board shall keep minutes and a record 

12

of its proceedings.

13

(b)  Public access.--A land bank is subject to:

14

(1)  65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating to open meetings); and

15

(2)  the act of February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as

16

the Right-to-Know Law.

17

§ 2114.  Dissolution of land bank.

18

(a)  General rule.--A land bank may be dissolved as a public

19

body corporate and politic upon compliance with all of the

20

following:

21

(1)  Sixty calendar days' advance written notice of

22

consideration of a resolution to request dissolution must:

23

(i)  be given to the land bank jurisdiction which

24

created the land bank;

25

(ii)  be published in a local newspaper of general

26

circulation; and

27

(iii)  be sent by certified mail to the trustees of

28

outstanding bonds of the land bank.

29

(2)  A resolution requesting dissolution must be approved

30

under section 2105(h)(3) (relating to board).

- 20 -

 


1

(b)  Authority.--Upon receipt of a proper resolution

2

described in subsection (a)(1), the land bank jurisdiction which

3

created the land bank may dissolve the land bank by adoption of

4

an ordinance subject to the approval of the mayor in a city or

5

the county executive in a home rule county. If approved, the

6

governing body of the land bank jurisdiction which created the

7

land bank shall file a certified copy of the ordinance with the

8

Department of State, and the Secretary of the Commonwealth shall

9

cause the termination of the existence of the land bank to be

10

noted on the record of incorporation. Upon such filing, the land

11

bank shall cease to function. The Secretary of the Commonwealth

12

shall also notify the department of the dissolution of the land

13

bank.

14

(c)  Transfer of assets.--Upon dissolution of the land bank,

15

real property, personal property and other assets of the land

16

bank shall become the assets of the municipality in which the

17

property is located. The following shall apply:

18

(1)  Personal property, including financial assets, of

19

the land bank shall be divided among participating land bank

20

jurisdictions in proportion to the population of each

21

jurisdiction.

22

(2)  The municipality in which real property is located

23

shall approve the transfer of title to the municipality.

24

(d)  Multiple jurisdictions.--If multiple land bank

25

jurisdictions create a land bank under section 2104(c) (relating

26

to creation and existence), the withdrawal of one or more land

27

bank jurisdictions shall not require dissolution of the land

28

bank unless:

29

(1)  the intergovernmental cooperation agreement provides

30

for dissolution in this event; and

- 21 -

 


1

(2)  there is no land bank jurisdiction which desires to

2

continue the existence of the land bank.

3

§ 2115.  Conflicts of interest.

4

(a)  State Adverse Interest Act.--The acts and decisions of

5

members of a board and of employees of a land bank shall be

6

subject to the act of July 19, 1957 (P.L.1017, No.451), known as

7

the State Adverse Interest Act.

8

(b)  Ethical standards.--Board members and land bank

9

employees are subject to 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 11 (relating to ethics

10

standards and financial disclosure).

11

(c)  Supplemental rules and guidelines.--The board may adopt:

12

(1)  supplemental rules addressing potential conflicts of

13

interest; and

14

(2)  ethical guidelines for members of the board and land

15

bank employees.

16

§ 2116.  Construction, intent and scope.

17

This chapter shall be construed liberally to effectuate the

18

legislative intent and the purposes as complete and independent

19

authorization for the implementation of this chapter, and all

20

powers granted shall be broadly interpreted to effectuate the

21

intent and purposes and not as a limitation of powers.

22

§ 2117.  Delinquent property tax enforcement.

23

(a)  Power to discharge liens and claims.--

24

(1)  Except as set forth in paragraph (2), a land bank

25

may, by resolution of the board, discharge a lien or claim to

26

its real property for tax owed to the members of the land

27

bank.

28

(2)  For a land bank to discharge a lien or claim to its

29

real property under paragraph (1) for tax owed to a school

30

district, the governing body of the school district must

- 22 -

 


1

approve the discharge.

2

(3)  The land bank must file evidence of the

3

extinguishment and dissolution of liens or claims with the

4

county tax claim bureau, including copies of the resolution

5

by the board, the intergovernmental agreement, receipt of

6

payment and other necessary and appropriate documentation.

7

This requirement must be satisfied no later than the earlier

8

of:

9

(i)  ten days prior to the conveyance of the

10

property; or

11

(ii)  within 30 days after the discharge.

12

(b)  Remittance of payments.--To the extent that a land bank

13

receives payments attributable to a lien or claim for real

14

property taxes owed to a municipality or school district on

15

property acquired by the land bank, the land bank shall remit

16

the full amount of the payments to the municipality or school

17

district.

18

(c)  Procedure relating to Real Estate Tax Sale Law.--For a

19

land bank located in a municipality which follows the act of

20

July 7, 1947 (P.L.1368, No.542), known as the Real Estate Tax

21

Sale Law, all of the following apply:

22

(1)  Depending upon the time of filing, the following

23

apply:

24

(i)  For a tax claim filed under the Real Estate Tax

25

Sale Law, the municipality:

26

(A)  may direct the county tax claim bureau to

27

assign the claim or lien to the land bank under terms

28

mutually acceptable to the municipality and land

29

bank; and

30

(B)  shall otherwise confer upon the land bank

- 23 -

 


1

the rights, privileges and remedies of an assignee

2

under section 316 of the Real Estate Tax Sale Law.

3

(ii)  For a tax claim to be filed under the Real

4

Estate Tax Sale Law, a municipality which has complied

5

with section 26 of the act of May 25, 1945 (P.L.1050,

6

No.394), known as the Local Tax Collection Law, and

7

section 306 of the Real Estate Tax Sale Law:

8

(A)  may assign and transfer the claim to the

9

land bank upon terms and conditions mutually

10

acceptable to the municipality and the land bank; and

11

(B)  shall otherwise confer upon the land bank

12

the rights, privileges and remedies of an assignee

13

under section 316 of the Real Estate Tax Sale Law.

14

(iii)  For tax liens assigned to the land bank under

15

subparagraph (i) or (ii), the land bank shall adopt

16

policies providing for plans and agreements by which low-

17

income, owner-occupant households may pay their

18

delinquent taxes. Such plans and agreements shall take

19

into account the household's ability to pay and shall be

20

designed to promote the continued occupancy by that

21

household whenever feasible.

22

(2)  All of the following apply to upset sales:

23

(i)  The land bank and the plaintiff in the claim may

24

enter into an agreement for the land bank to purchase the

25

property at the minimum amount described in section 605

26

of the Real Estate Tax Sale Law in the event there is no

27

bid tendered for a higher amount than the minimum amount.

28

(ii)  If there is an agreement under subparagraph (i)

29

and no one bids a higher price than the minimum amount

30

described in section 605 of the Real Estate Tax Sale Law,

- 24 -

 


1

the property shall be sold to the land bank upon payment

2

by the land bank for the upset sale costs and all liens,

3

claims and subordinate encumbrances shall be discharged

4

by the sale.

5

(3)  All of the following apply to judicial sales:

6

(i)  Notwithstanding section 612 of the Real Estate

7

Tax Sale Law, the form, substance and timing of the land

8

bank's payment of the sales price may be according to the

9

agreement as is mutually acceptable to the plaintiff and

10

the land bank if all of the following apply:

11

(A)  A judicial sale is ordered pursuant to a

12

judgment on a tax claim.

13

(B)  The purchaser of the property is the land

14

bank.

15

(C)  The sales price is an amount agreed to by

16

the land bank and the plaintiff in the claim. 

17

(ii)  The obligation of the land bank to perform in

18

accordance with the agreement under subparagraph (i)

19

shall be deemed to be in full satisfaction of the tax

20

claim which was the basis for the judgment.

21

(iii)  The land bank, as purchaser at the sale, shall

22

have an absolute title to the property sold, free and

23

discharged of tax and municipal claims, liens, mortgages,

24

ground rents, charges and estates.

25

(4)  The notice and return under sections 602 and 607(a)

26

of the Real Estate Tax Sale Law must contain reference to a

27

potential bid by the land bank.

28

(5)  The deed to the land bank under sections 608 and 615

29

of the Real Estate Tax Sale Law shall be delivered and

30

acknowledged and recorded within 30 days of the date of

- 25 -

 


1

confirmation.

2

(6)  All of the following apply to judicial sales for

3

multiple tracts:

4

(i)  In a petition for a judicial sale, the

5

municipality or the land bank, if it is the holder of

6

municipal tax liens, may combine in a single petition

7

multiple tracts of real property if the petition and

8

accompanying affidavits provide all of the following:

9

(A)  Identification of each tract of real

10

property.

11

(B)  The identities of each party having an

12

interest in a tract of real property.

13

(C)  The amount of the tax liens then due and

14

owing, together with associated interest, costs and

15

fees.

16

(D)  The nature of the notice of the proposed

17

sale provided to the interested parties.

18

(ii)  The court may authorize in a single final

19

judgment that all or part of the real properties

20

identified in the petition be sold free and clear of tax

21

and municipal claims, mortgages, liens, charges and

22

estates and ground rents. 

23

(d)  Procedure relating to Municipal Claim and Tax Lien

24

Law.--For a land bank located in a municipality which follows

25

the act of May 16, 1923 (P.L.207, No.153), referred to as the

26

Municipal Claim and Tax Lien Law, all of the following apply:

27

(1)  Regardless of the time of filing, the municipality:

28

(i)  may assign and transfer a tax or municipal claim

29

to the land bank upon terms and conditions mutually

30

acceptable to the municipality and land bank;

- 26 -

 


1

(ii)  shall otherwise confer upon the land bank the

2

rights, privileges and remedies of an assignee as stated

3

in section 33 of the Municipal Claim and Tax Lien Law;

4

and

5

(iii)  for tax liens assigned to the land bank under

6

this section, the land bank shall adopt policies

7

providing for plans and agreements by which low-income,

8

owner-occupant households may pay their delinquent taxes.

9

Such plans and agreements shall take into account the

10

household's ability to pay and shall be designed to

11

promote the continued occupancy by that household

12

whenever feasible.

13

(2)  All of the following apply to upset sales:

14

(i)  The land bank and the plaintiff in the claim may

15

enter into an agreement for the land bank to purchase the

16

property at the minimum amount described in section 29 of

17

the Municipal Claim and Tax Lien Law in the event there

18

is no bid tendered for a higher amount than the minimum

19

amount.

20

(ii)  If there is an agreement under subparagraph (i)

21

and no one bids a higher price than the minimum amount

22

described in section 29 of the Municipal Claim and Tax

23

Lien Law, the property shall be sold to the land bank

24

upon payment by the land bank for the upset sale costs

25

and liens, claims and subordinate encumbrances shall be

26

discharged by the sale.

27

(3)  All of the following apply to judicial sales:

28

(i)  Notwithstanding section 31 of the Municipal

29

Claim and Tax Lien Law, the form, substance and timing of

30

the land bank's payment of the sales price may be

- 27 -

 


1

according to the agreement mutually acceptable to the

2

plaintiff and the land bank if all of the following

3

apply:

4

(A)  A judicial sale is ordered pursuant to a

5

judgment on a tax or municipal claim.

6

(B)  The purchaser of the property is the land

7

bank.

8

(C)  The sales price is an amount agreed to by

9

the land bank and the plaintiff.

10

(ii)  The obligation of the land bank to perform in

11

accordance with the agreement under subparagraph (i)

12

shall be deemed to be in full satisfaction of the

13

municipal claim which was the basis for the judgment.

14

(iii)  The land bank, as purchaser at the sale, shall

15

have an absolute title to the property sold, free and

16

discharged of tax and municipal claims, liens, mortgages,

17

ground rents, charges and estates.

18

(4)  Notwithstanding sections 31.1 and 31.2 of the

19

Municipal Claim and Tax Lien Law and sections 4 and 6 of the

20

act of March 1, 1956 (1955 P.L.1196, No.372), entitled "An

21

act authorizing the sale of vacant land located in areas

22

certified as conservation areas in counties of the first

23

class, under a judgment obtained on a tax claim, by the

24

sheriff of the county; providing for the discharge of all

25

liens, mortgages, ground rents, estates and claims against

26

the property by sale; and limiting the right of redemption,"

27

all of the following apply:

28

(i)  The land bank may tender a bid at the sale in an

29

amount equal to the total amount of all municipal claims

30

and liens which were the basis for the judgment. Upon

- 28 -

 


1

tender under this subparagraph, the property shall be

2

deemed sold to the land bank regardless of bids by other

3

parties.

4

(ii)  The bid of the land bank shall be paid as to

5

its form, substance and timing according to an agreement

6

that is mutually acceptable to the plaintiff and the land

7

bank. The obligation of the land bank to perform in

8

accordance with the agreement shall be deemed to be in

9

full satisfaction of the tax or municipal claim which was

10

the basis for the judgment.

11

(iii)  The land bank, as purchaser at the sale, shall

12

have an absolute title to the property sold, free and

13

discharged of tax and municipal claims, liens, mortgages,

14

ground rents, charges and estates.

15

(iv)  The deed to the land bank shall be executed,

16

acknowledged and delivered within 30 days of the sale.

17

(5)  All of the following apply to judicial sales for

18

multiple tracts:

19

(i)  In a petition for a judicial sale, a

20

municipality or a land bank, if it is the holder of

21

municipal tax liens, may combine in a petition multiple

22

tracts of real property if the petition and accompanying

23

affidavits provide all of the following:

24

(A)  Identification of each tract of real

25

property.

26

(B)  The identities of each party having an

27

interest in a tract of real property.

28

(C)  The amount of the tax liens taxes then due

<--

29

and owing, together with associated interest, costs

<--

30

and fees.

- 29 -

 


1

(D)  The nature of the notice of the proposed

2

sale provided to the interested parties.

3

(ii)  The court may authorize in a single final

4

judgment that all or part of the real properties

5

identified in the petition be sold free and clear of tax

6

and municipal claims, mortgages, liens, ground rents,

7

charges and estates.

8

(e)  Procedure relating to Second Class City Treasurer's Sale

9

and Collection Act.--For a land bank located in a municipality

10

which follows the act of October 11, 1984 (P.L.876, No.171),

11

known as the Second Class City Treasurer's Sale and Collection

12

Act, all of the following apply:

13

(1)  Regardless of the time of filing, a municipality:

14

(i)  may assign and transfer a tax or municipal claim

15

to the land bank under the Second Class City Treasurer's

16

Sale and Collection Act upon terms and conditions

17

mutually acceptable to the municipality and the land

18

bank; and

19

(ii)  shall otherwise confer upon the land bank the

20

rights, privileges and remedies of the municipality under

21

the Second Class City Treasurer's Sale and Collection

22

Act.

23

(iii)  For tax liens assigned to the land bank under

24

this section, the land bank shall adopt policies

25

providing for plans and agreements by which low-income,

26

owner-occupant households may pay their delinquent taxes.

27

Such plans and agreements shall take into account the

28

household's ability to pay and shall be designed to

29

promote the continued occupancy by that household

30

whenever feasible.

- 30 -

 


1

(2)  All of the following apply to upset sales:

2

(i)  The land bank and the plaintiff in the claim may

3

enter into an agreement for the land bank to purchase the

4

property for the minimum amount of the upset sale price

5

described in section 301 of the Second Class City

6

Treasurer's Sale and Collection Act in the event there is

7

no bid tendered for a higher amount than the minimum

8

amount.

9

(ii)  The land bank may tender a bid for the mutually

10

agreed upset sale price.

11

(iii)  Notwithstanding section 301 of the Second

12

Class City Treasurer's Sale and Collection Act, the bid

13

of the land bank shall be paid as to its form, substance

14

and timing according to an agreement between the

15

municipality and land bank. The obligation of the land

16

bank to perform in accordance with the agreement shall be

17

deemed to be in full satisfaction of the tax or claim

18

which was the basis for the sale.

19

(3)  The notice and advertisement under sections 203 and

20

204 of the Second Class City Treasurer's Sale and Collection

21

Act must contain reference to a potential bid by the land

22

bank.

23

(4)  Subject to redemption under section 304 of the

24

Second Class City Treasurer's Sale and Collection Act and

25

confirmation under section 305 of the Second Class City

26

Treasurer's Sale and Collection Act, the land bank, as

27

purchaser at the sale, shall have an absolute title to the

28

property sold, free and discharged of tax and municipal

29

claims, liens, mortgages, ground rents, charges and estates.

30

(5)  The deed to the land bank under section 307 of the

- 31 -

 


1

Second Class City Treasurer's Sale and Collection Act shall

2

be delivered, acknowledged and recorded within 30 days of the

3

date of confirmation.

4

(e.1)  Land bank.--Notwithstanding subsections (d) and (e),

<--

5

in counties of the second class containing a city of the second

6

class, a land bank may not engage in any of the following absent

7

an agreement with a county, city, borough, incorporated town,

8

township, school district or body politic and corporate created

9

as a municipal authority pursuant to law whose claims comprise

10

the upset sales price:

11

(1)  Purchase property for less than the upset sales

12

price described in section 29 of the Municipal Claim and Tax

13

Lien Law or section 301 of the Second Class City Treasurer's

14

Sale and Collection Act.

15

(2)  Alter the form, substance or timing of the payment

16

of the sales price by the land bank.

17

(f)  Involuntary transfers.--A land bank which acquires real

18

property under this section shall be deemed to have acquired the

19

real property as an involuntary transfer within the meaning of

20

section 701(b)(1)(vi)(B) of the act of October 18, 1988

21

(P.L.756, No.108), known as the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act.

22

(g)  Expiration.--This section shall expire upon publication

23

of the notice under section 2120 (relating to determination on

24

procedural revision).

25

§ 2118.  Expedited quiet title proceedings.

26

(a)  Authorization.--

27

(1)  A land bank may file an action to quiet title to

28

real property in which the land bank has an interest.

29

(2)  A land bank may join in a single complaint to quiet

30

title to one or more parcels of real property.

- 32 -

 


1

(3)  For purposes of an action under this section, the

2

land bank shall be deemed to be the holder of sufficient

3

legal and equitable interests and possessory rights so as to

4

qualify the land bank as an adequate complainant in the

5

action.

6

(b)  Procedural requirements.--

7

(1)  Prior to the filing of an action to quiet title the

8

land bank must conduct an examination of title to determine

9

the identity of any person possessing a claim or interest in

10

or to the real property.

11

(2)  Service of the complaint to quiet title shall be

12

provided to interested parties as follows:

13

(i)  By first class mail to the identity and address

14

reasonably ascertainable by an inspection of public

15

records.

16

(ii)  In the case of occupied real property, by first

17

class mail, addressed to "Occupant."

18

(iii)  By posting a copy of the notice on the real

19

property.

20

(iv)  By publication.

21

(v)  As ordered by the court.

22

(3)  As part of the complaint to quiet title, the land

23

bank must file an affidavit identifying:

24

(i)  persons discovered under paragraph (1); and

25

(ii)  the form of service under paragraph (2).

26

(c)  Hearing.--

27

(1)  The court shall schedule a hearing on the complaint

28

within 90 days following filing of the complaint and as to

29

all matters upon which an answer was not filed by an

30

interested party.

- 33 -

 


1

(2)  The court shall issue its final judgment within 120

2

days of the filing of the complaint.

3

§ 2119.  Annual audit and report.

4

The following shall apply:

5

(1)  The land bank shall annually, within 120 days after

6

the end of the fiscal year, submit an audit of income and

7

expenditures, together with a report of its activities for

8

the preceding year, to the department.

9

(2)  A duplicate of the audit and the report shall be

10

filed with the governing body of:

11

(i)  the land bank jurisdiction which created the

12

land bank; and

13

(ii)  each political subdivision which opted to

14

participate in the land bank pursuant to an

15

intergovernmental agreement.

16

§ 2120.  Determination on procedural revision.

17

If the department determines that comprehensive reform

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legislation on property-tax foreclosure has been enacted

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revising procedure under the statutory provisions referred to in

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section 2117 (relating to delinquent property tax enforcement),

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the department shall transmit notice of the determination to the

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Legislative Reference Bureau for publication in the Pennsylvania

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Bulletin.

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Section 2.  This act shall take effect in 60 days.

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