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A Boost for Land Banks (The GA Legislature Did Manage to Accomplish Something This Session)

The partisan freak show formerly known as the Georgia State Legislature spent much of its recent session wrangling over long-settled social issues and completely failing to address the need for a regional transit authority. But your state representatives did manage to get at least one good thing done this past session. A bill was passed and immediately signed by Governor Deal that modified state regulations on land banks, which will allow them to more easily take control of blighted property (by either acquisition or donation), clean it up and put it to more productive use. The pop of the real estate bubble and continuing tsunami of foreclosures has left Georgia with more than its fair share of semi-developed weed & rodent farms and abandoned houses. Among the changes instituted by the new law, local governments will be able to direct some of the property taxes collected from the land banks to assist in upkeep of the properties. In spite of standard opposition from free market purists, the incredibly rare showing of unified bi-partisan support in the passage of this bill is the best evidence of its universal benefit.

· Law change could ease abandoned home blight [AJC]