Pre-filed Bill Would Extend Abilities of Alabama Land Banks
November 2, 2023
Source: News From The States
A bill filed for the Alabama Legislature’s 2024 session would give land banks more flexibility in acquiring properties and allow cities and counties to create joint land bank authorities for economic development.
SB 3, sponsored by Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison, D-Birmingham, said in an interview Wednesday that the bill would allow land bank authorities to acquire tax-delinquent properties, “which they have not had the opportunity to do.”
“We have a lot of properties, in Birmingham in particular because it is a more urbanized area, that are vacant and abandoned,” she said. “These properties are deteriorating and bringing the property values of communities down.”
Land banks are essentially an economic development tool that allow governments to acquire vacant or abandoned properties and turn them over to other entities with a goal of improving the land.
“You think about any community, you are riding down the street in an area of a neighborhood, you have got overgrown grass, you have got busted out windows, you have got any of the signs of decay,” said Brian Larkin, director of the National Land Bank Network with the Center for Community Progress, an organization that advises governments on this issue.
Larkin said that many times, governments are not interested in assuming control of these properties and managing them, preferring instead to turn them over to other groups who can use them for some purpose. A land bank is a tool to do so.
For full report, please click the source link above.