States Introduce Vacant Property Bills
Updated 3/21/18: NE LB256 (Adopt the Vacant Property Registration Act) has been signed by Governor Pete Ricketts.
Updated 2/22/18: NE LB256 (Adopt the Vacant Property Registration Act) was advanced to Enrollment and Review for Engrossment.
Updated 2/9/18: The Omaha World-Herald published an article titled Editorial: Bill can strengthen municipalities ‘ ability to address problems with vacant properties.
January 25, 2017
Vacant Property Registration
- SB 137 was first read on January 4, had a second reading on January 11 and was subsequently referred to the Local Government and Elections Committee.
“Under current law, any city and St. Louis County may establish a semiannual registration fee of up to $200 for vacant properties. This act provides that the current law shall not preempt Kansas City from adopting an ordinance requiring the registration of vacant properties or any parcel in the process of mortgage foreclosure and the payment of a registration fee in an amount determined by the city if the fee is approved by a majority of the city’s registered voters.
Source: Missouri Senate (SB 137 full text)
- LB256 (Adopt the Vacant Property Registration Act) was introduced on January 11, referred to Urban Affairs Committee on January 13 and issued a “Notice of hearing for January 31, 2017” on January 23.
- The “Introducer’s Statement of Intent” is as follows:
The purpose of LB 256 is to promote the health, safety and welfare of Nebraskans by giving communities statutory authority to enact Vacant Property Registration Ordinances. Such ordinances will allow communities to identify and register vacant properties, collect fees to compensate for the public costs of property vacancy, plan for the rehabilitation of vacant properties, and encourage the occupancy of such properties.
Under LB 256, a municipality may adopt a Vacant Property Registration Ordinance, or a VPRO, which may apply to residential or commercial building, or both. The VPRO will create a city wide vacant property registration database, administered by a city employee.
Owners of vacant property subject to the VPRO will be required to register their properties within six months of the properties becoming vacant, and may provide for fines for failure to comply with the ordinance. VPROs will require a plan for occupancy of the property, may allow the program administrator to inspect the property upon registration, and at one year intervals thereafter. A VPRO may require the payment of a fee within one year of the vacancy of the property, and may require the payment of supplemental registration fees at intervals no more frequently than every six months thereafter, for as long as the property remains on the vacant property registration database.
A VPRO may provide for exemptions to the fee requirement.
Source: Nebraska Legislature (LB256 full text)