SPRINGFIELD (Aug. 3, 2023) -- When the housing and foreclosure crisis of 2008 hit our community, abandoned property became significantly prevalent. In the aftermath, Clark County witnessed entire blocks of vacant homes and overgrown land become abandoned, and fall into tax delinquency. In 2014, the Clark County Land Reutilization Corporation, commonly known as the Land Bank, was created to help address these issues.
“Our community has hit a hardship with tax forfeited properties, but we are working hard to process these delinquencies and create opportunities for the properties to be utilized in a meaningful way,” said Clark County Treasurer Pam Littlejohn.
Since Treasurer Littlejohn took office in September 2021, the unpaid taxes and assessments dwindled from over $19 Million outstanding to just over $16 Million as of June 1, 2023; creating a collection of nearly $3 Million more delinquent taxes than previous years. Collections for 2022 delinquent taxes will continue through the end of the year. These funds are utilized to support schools and other vital government functions.
In her capacity of Treasurer, Littlejohn serves as a Board Member of the Land Bank, and has emphasized the opportunity the organization presents to Clark County and the nearly 500 tax forfeited properties.
Land Banks are unique in their ability to procure and transfer tax-forfeited properties back into productive use.
“The Land Bank has been able to return over 350 properties to productive use since its founding in 2014,” said Clark County Land Bank Executive Director Ethan Harris. “One of the great programs we offer is the Side Lot Program. If a homeowner’s property is contiguous to a forfeited piece of land, the owner is eligible for a significant discount to acquire that property. We encourage neighbors of vacant land to reach out and see if the property is forfeited and able to be acquired.”
“Our community deserves neighborhoods that are safe, clean, and cared for,” said Land Bank President Melanie Flax Wilt. “Putting properties back into productive use is a significant step towards this goal.”
If you would like more information about the Land Bank or how to acquire forfeited property, please contact their office at 937-521-2173 or their website at clarkcountylandbank.org.
For more information about the tax foreclosure process, contact the Clark County Treasurer’s office at 937-521-1832.