OK HB 2620 Pending in Senate; City Says Registry is First Step Against Blight
Updated 7/8/14: NewsOk published an article titled Realtors, OKC exchange views on blight.
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Updated 5/23/14: HB 2620 has been signed by Governor Mary Fallin.
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On April 3, NewsOK published an article titled Planning Chief: Registry First Step in Fighting Blight.
Please click here to view the Engrossed HB 2620. Following is the aforementioned article.
Planning chief: Registry first step in fighting blight
Oklahoma City’s planning chief says the city’s vacant and abandoned buildings registry is the “first step” in a comprehensive effort to combat blight.
The registry is under attack in the Legislature, where a bill would prohibit cities from creating property registries and outlaw existing lists.
Interim Planning Director Aubrey Hammontree says a study showed abandoned buildings “significantly reduce surrounding property values and pose threats to public health and safety.”
Prompted in part by the study’s findings, the Oklahoma City Council adopted the city’s registry in December.
Counted more than 12,000 vacant and abandoned buildings in Oklahoma City.
Found owners of blighted properties pay a tenth of the amount owners of occupied homes pay in property tax, sales tax, franchise fees and other charges.
Found run-down houses and commercial buildings push everyone’s property values down, depriving owners of $2.7 billion in unrealized value.
Hammontree says Oklahoma City officials “are prepared to address this blight through a multi-pronged program, and the registry is the first step.”
The Oklahoma City registry sets initial registration and annual renewal fees for owners of vacant buildings.
Exceptions are included for property being rehabbed or marketed for sale.
Realtors pushing the registry ban have especially opposed fees and fines associated with the Oklahoma City registry.
House Bill 2620 was passed by the Oklahoma House last month.
It is pending in the Senate, where it was approved by a committee this week and sent to the Senate floor.
Please click here to view the online article.
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