03/07/19 -- HB 821 -- Establishes a Land Bank in St. Joseph
HB 821, introduced by Representative Sheila Solon (Republican - District 9) allows the city of St. Joseph to establish a "land bank" agency that could purchase land a tax auctions for the purpose of redevelopment or demolishment. Proponents of the bill claim that it will allow the city to clean up unsafe and blighted areas and improve property values throughout the city.
Setting aside the fact that the bill carves out a special privilege for a particular city (a concept I don't generally care for), this is well outside the purpose of government. It's bad enough that people are losing their property due to unpaid taxes - now they want to allow government to purchase it and via central planning determine what will be developed there? No thanks.
There was a decent amount of opposition, but it ultimately did pass.