City land bank statistics

Register
Apr 8, 2014
The city’s land bank was adopted on June 11, 2007. It took years of planning from 2006 until the first land bank property was sold in 2010.
 
Since adoption of the city’s land bank, it has been self-supporting with no funds expended from the general fund. The Law Department’s budget picks up the portion representing wages for the percentage of the time dedicated to administering the program, plus, some wages have been recouped through sales that generated a profit.
 
Distributions of the real estate taxes are the following: (ref. public records)
 
• 77% Sandusky City Schools 
• 9% City of Sandusky 
• 4% Mental Health & Retardation 
• 4% Erie County General Fund
• 2% Erie-Ottawa mental Health District 
• 2% Erie-Lorain Health District
• 1% Erie Metro Parks
• 1% Senior Citizens
 
Land bank activity from 2010 to present:
 
• Acquired 92 parcels and sold 51.5 parcels.
• Land bank sales are generating approximately $21,749.05 a year in real estate taxes.
• Five properties sold at a profit totaling $131,150.28 refunding to the taxing districts and creating a new business that has expanded its operations.
 
The Mow to Own Program was implemented in 2011. The program seems to be the most popular program helping neighbors obtain vacant property next to them by maintaining the land for a period of time in exchange for the title to the land.
 
The schools stand to benefit the most from real estate taxes and that is why it is important for the county to stay aggressive in collecting delinquent taxes, since the delinquencies have mounted to a whopping $10.7 million. When people are not paying their fair share of taxes, the schools end up coming to the taxpayers to approve levies to make up for the loss.
 
Some delinquent property owners are on the payment plan, but the plan should not be abused in anyway. The plan needs to be implemented in such a manner that the ultimate goal is to catch up on the taxes in a short period of time and stay caught up. Delinquencies should never get so far behind that it will be impossible to ever recover the back taxes even while on the payment plan.

Comments

T. A. Schwanger

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One issue communities should be aware of is the vast majority of landbank sales include the forgivness of back taxes and special assessments.

Case in point is the delinquent Joe Yost project at Cold Creek Crossings where 50 plus properties have found there way into the City Land Bank program forgiving over $1.2 million in "special assessments" for infrastructure. Local tax dollars will now repay the money borrowed for this project.

(Feb 2014) APROVING AND ACCEPTING 51 PARCELS Cold Creek Crossings) THROUGH THE LAND REUTILIZATION PROGRAM
Budgetary Information: The cost of this acquisition will be approximately four thousand three dollar and fifty
cents ($4,003.50) which includes title exams, title fees, recording fees and transfer fees, of which the city will
recoup upon sale. The taxing districts will not collect the $268,774.37 owed in delinquent property taxes, nor
the $60,070.82 owed in penalties and interest, totaling $1,460,761.30. The city will not collect the
$1,119,481.94 owed to the city for special assessments nor the $10,434.60 owed to the city for weed cutting.