SB 424 - This act establishes the "Land Bank Act", which authorizes the City of St. Joseph to establish a land bank agency for the management, sale, transfer, and other disposition of interests in real estate owned by such land bank agency. The land bank agency shall be established to foster the public purpose of returning land, including land that is in a nonrevenue-generating, nontax-producing status, to use in private ownership. The land bank agency shall not own any interest in real estate that is located partially or wholly outside the city.
The beneficiaries of the land bank agency shall be the taxing authorities that held or owned tax bills against the respective parcels of real estate acquired by the land bank agency, as described in the act. (Section 140.981)
The governing body of the city shall have the power to organize and reorganize the land bank agency. The agency may employ a secretary, an executive director, legal counsel, experts, and any other employees as it may require. (Section 140.982)
The land bank agency shall have all the powers necessary or appropriate to carry out the provisions of the act, as described in the act. (Section 140.983)
The income of a land bank agency shall be exempt from all taxation by the state and all of its political subdivisions. The land bank agency shall notify the county assessor and the county collector upon acquiring title to any real estate. (Section 140.984)
A land bank agency shall maintain and make available for public review and inspection an inventory and history of all real property the land bank agency holds or formerly held.
A land bank agency may convey, sell, or otherwise transfer all interests in property of the agency, and may gift any such interest to the city that established the land bank agency. The city establishing the agency may establish a hierarchical ranking of priorities for the use of real property conveyed by the land bank agency.
A land bank agency shall only accept written offers equal to or greater than the full amount of all tax bills, interest, penalties, attorney's fees, and costs on real property to purchase the real property held by the agency. When a land bank agency sells or otherwise disposes of a parcel of real estate, the proceeds shall be applied and distributed to the payment of the expenses of the sale, to fulfill the requirements of any financial documents adopted or entered into by the agency, to pay the salaries of the employees of the land bank agency, and to the taxing authorities with taxing jurisdiction over the real property being sold.
If a land bank agency owns more than five parcels of real property in a single city block and no written offer to purchase any of such properties has been submitted to the agency in the past twelve months, the agency shall reduce its requested price and advertise the discount publicly. (Section 140.985)
No later than two years from the date it acquired a property, a land bank agency shall either sell, put to a productive use, or show significant progress toward selling or putting to a productive use such real property, as described in the act. The governing body of the city establishing the land bank may grant the agency a one year extension if the city believes unforseen circumstances have delayed the sale or productive use of a property. (Section 140.986)
A land bank agency shall ensure that any contract for the sale of residential property owned by the agency shall have a clause that the buyer shall own the property for three years following the buyer's purchase of the property. A violation of such terms makes the buyer civilly liable to the land bank for an amount equal to twice the sale price of the property. (Section 140.987)
For a period of three years following the sale of a property by a land bank agency, the property taxes assessed against such property that are collected by the county collector shall be distributed to the land bank agency no later than March 1 of the following calendar year. (Section 140.988)
There shall be an annual audit of the affairs, accounts, expenses, and financial transactions of a land bank agency by a certified public accountant before April 30 of each year. The land bank agency may also be performance audited at any time by the State Auditor or by the auditor of the city that established the land bank agency. The cost of such audit shall be paid by the land bank agency. (Section 140.991)
No employee of a land bank agency shall receive any compensation or other profit directly or indirectly from the rental, management, acquisition, sale, or other disposition of any lands held by the land bank agency, as described in the act, other than the salaries and expenses provided for in the act. (Section 140.1000)
A land bank agency shall be authorized to file an action to quiet title for any real property in which the land bank agency has an interest, as described in the act. (Section 140.1009)
A land bank agency may be dissolved no sooner than sixty days after an ordinance or resolution for such dissolution is passed by the governing body of the city. No agency shall be dissolved while there remains any outstanding obligations of the agency. Upon dissolution of the agency, all real property, personal property, and other assets of the land bank agency shall be transferred to and shall become the assets of the city that established the land bank agency. Such city shall act expeditiously to return such real property to the tax rolls and shall market and sell such real property using an open, public method that ensures the best possible prices are realized. (Section 140.1012)
A land bank agency shall not possess or exercise the power of eminent domain or the power to tax. (Section 140.1015)
This act is substantially similar to SS/HB 821 (2019).