Gov. Jay Nixon today signed House Bill 1659 which allows Kansas City to create a land bank for the purpose of acquiring, rehabilitating and reselling abandoned and blighted properties. The Governor went to the Lucile H. Bluford Branch Library in Kansas City to sign the bill.
"Kansas City both values its rich history, and invests in its promising future," Gov. Nixon said. "But alongside every landmark and historic site, that history also carries the hard truth of time. There are thousands of vacant properties in this city, and in some areas, they account for one out of every four properties. House Bill 1659 opens the way to establish the Kansas City Land Bank, which will be able to rehab vacant homes and turn deserted buildings into a viable asset for economic development. This legislation gives the city the ability to replace deterioration with innovation, and build a brighter future for all its residents."
A recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City found there were approximately 12,000 vacant properties within Kansas City, including about 3,000 properties owned by the Jackson County Land Trust. The trust, which does not have the authority to rehabilitate and resell properties, will transfer the properties to the new Kansas City Land Bank, so that they may be restored to an economically viable asset.
The Kansas City Land Bank will also automatically acquire properties that have been offered for sale at three different public auctions, but have not sold. Additionally, the Land Bank can purchase properties in low-income areas that are offered at tax foreclosure auctions or sheriffs' auctions. The Kansas City Land Bank does not have eminent domain authority.
The Land Bank will list its properties on a public website and must accept formal offers equal to or greater than the fair market value of the property. Upon sale or disposition of the property, taxes generated from the property will be diverted back to the Land Bank for the first three years to help fund ongoing operations of the Land Bank. After that time, the properties will be restored to the local tax rolls where they will generate new revenue for the community.