Monday, June 28, 2010

Cincinnati council supports land banking

The City of Cincinnati supports the creation of a county-wide land bank to address its problems of vacancy, abandonment, and blight, according to a resolution passed unanimously by City Council last week.

Substitute House Bill 313, signed by Ohio Governor Ted Strickland in early April, gave 41 Ohio counties the power to form County Land Reutilization Corporations (CLRCs).

The regionally-based planning tool allows counties to issue bonds to buy properties' outstanding tax liens from the county treasurer, then acquire the properties with a clear title. CLRCs would be self-funding, because program funding would be replenished through penalties and interest on delinquent taxes and assessments, the resale of properties to qualified buyers, and loans, bonds and grants.

One of the largest holdups to the creation of local CLRCs has been funding.

To create a local CLRC, the Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners would be required to pass a resolution directing its formation. County treasurer Robert Goering would then incorporate it and form a board, which would draft the rules of operation for approval by the commissioners.

Copies of the resolution will be sent to Goering and to all three members of the Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners.

Board President Todd Portune says that he has requested a copy of the City's resolution and will be seeking cost-benefit input, so that the board can intelligently decide the matter.

Previous reading on BC:
Ohio land bank bill now law (4/8/10)
Cincinnati RoundTable focuses on land banking, housing court (3/31/10)
Ohio county land banking passes House committee (12/14/09)
28 Ohio counties could acquire land banking powers (10/29/09)
Dohoney: Most OTRF preservation recommendations 'probably unfeasible' (8/5/09)