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City Communications Office

City of Kansas City, Mo.

www.kcmo.org

CONTACT: Mayor Pro Tem Circo’s Office, 816-513-6519.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 6, 2012

Mayor Pro Tem Circo testifies before State Senate

Support of KCMO Land Bank Bill expressed

Kansas City, Mo. Mayor Pro Tem Cindy Circo and David Parks, director of the City’s Neighborhood and Community Services Department testified before the Missouri State Senate Monday, March 5 in support of the KCMO Land Bank Bill (SB 795). The bill proposed by Kansas City, Jackson County and LISC Greater Kansas City will allow for the creation of a land bank entity to address the increasing number of vacant and abandoned houses in Kansas City, Missouri.

“I feel confident that our State Senators want to do all they can to assist Kansas City in obtaining the tools we need to revitalize our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Pro Tem Circo. “I left the Senate hearing feeling encouraged and ready to go back to encourage the vote.”

The vote on the KCMO Land Bank Bill (SB 795) is currently scheduled for Monday, March 19.

A land bank is a governmental entity that focuses on the conversion of vacant, abandoned and foreclosed properties into productive use. As such, the land bank agency will receive the tax-foreclosed properties that are not sold at the public tax-foreclosure auction. All properties within the city that are held by Land Trust of Jackson County will be transferred to the land bank agency within a year after the land bank agency is established. The agency will maintain the properties while striving to return them to the tax rolls and eliminate their blighting influence.

The land bank agency will also be able to receive donations of properties. Banks and mortgage companies have been donating low-value foreclosed properties to land banks in jurisdictions that have land banks. This is a better alternative than “walking-away” from the properties and furthering blight in the neighborhoods in which they are located.

The proposed KCMO Land Bank Bill (SB 795) was drafted through a joint effort by representatives from Kansas City, Jackson County and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) with guidance provided by Frank Alexander, a nationally-respected attorney and law professor who has drafted legislation for several other states.

For more information on this issue, contact Mayor Pro Tem Circo’s Office, 816-513-6519.

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