Michigan had a tax foreclosure process that hopelessly mired tax reverted properties in a legal limbo. This contributed to urban decline in Flint by keeping properties off of the tax roll and out of circulation for up to seven years. In 1999, the Michigan State Legislature created a new, streamlined system for returning tax-reverted properties to productive use (P.A. 123 and a subsequent P.A. 258). This changed the way foreclosed properties were handled by giving outright ownership of these properties to the local County Treasurer after only two and a half years. (See Comparison Chart)
With this new process, Michigan opened the door for communities to reclaim, reinvest in and rebuild their neighborhoods. Thus, the Genesee County Land Reutilization Council (LRC) was created. In 2004, after the State of Michigan passed the land bank legislation, the LRC became the Genesee County Land Bank Authority (GCLBA). The GCLBA uses the new tax law as a constructive community development tool: avoiding the potential neglect or misuse that comes from selling land at auction, the County is able to acquire abandoned land through the foreclosure process and determine the best use of that land. The GCLBA assembles land for transfer to adjacent homeowners, develops long and short-term green spaces, and assembles land for new housing and commercial development. The objective is to restore the integrity of the community by removing dilapidated structures and redeveloping abandoned properties.
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