|In the near future I intend to introduce legislation that allows our communities to create and maintain a vacant property registration and assessment program, which is a blight fighting, smart growth tool used to stabilize and re-develop communities.
Specifically, my “Vacant Property Registration and Assessment Act”:
Irresponsible property owners cause substantial socioeconomic problems for our communities. Local governments spend tax dollars securing vacant and vacant/blighted properties. In addition, property values decline in neighborhoods with vacancy and blight. It is important that we shift the responsibility for vacancy and blight from responsible, taxpaying property owners to the irresponsible owners of properties left vacant and blighted.
- Allows a municipality to enact an ordinance or resolution that requires a vacant property registration fee and a vacant property assessment.
- Authorizes the municipality to assess vacant property at a rate of $5 per every $100 of assessed value for vacant property and at a rate of $10 per every $100 of assessed value for blighted-vacant property.
- Provides certain exemption conditions to owners for economic hardship, active military service, probate situations and active real estate sales marketing, providing that the properties comply with local, state and federal codes and laws.
- Penalizes owners who fail to comply with the registration requirements by $25 per day for residential properties and $50 per day for commercial or industrial properties for every day that the owner has failed to register the vacant property with the municipality.
- Makes all unpaid fees and assessments liens against the property, collectable as per existing statute regarding municipal claims.
- Requires municipalities that operate a vacant property program to create a “blight remediation and eradication fund” and to use the funds to:
-Acquire tax delinquent and foreclosed properties
-Donate to a land bank
-Apply to conservatorship projects as provided for in Act 135 of 2008
-Remediate blight conditions within its jurisdiction
-And/or to educate its residents about the costs and dangers of vacancy and blight.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.