House Passes Bill to Streamline Property Tax Sales
March 5th – This week the Indiana House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation designed to speed up the process through which abandoned properties are sold at tax sales. Senate Bill 422 would allow properties certified as vacant or abandoned to be sold outright at a tax sale. If passed, the new law would also reduce the wait period from six months to three months for a new owner to petition the court for a tax deed. State Representative Justin Moed of Indianapolis, who helped author amendments to the bill, says “This bill creates an expedited avenue for a city to move an abandoned house through a sale and reduces the waiting period which can currently delay ownership of a home for up to a year.” Moed says during that year of transitional ownership, the abandoned property is left unsecured and open to theft and other illegal activity.
The bill also contains a provision to deter irresponsible owners from purchasing tax sale properties by allowing counties to create and maintain a state-wide data base to determine if an individual is tax delinquent or owns properties that are not up to code in other communities.
“By streamlining the process to put these properties in the hands of individuals aiming to renovate them, and by weeding out the bad property owners we can protect our neighborhoods and eliminate the threats that accompany abandonment,” said Moed.
The bill now moves back to the Senate, which will consider amendments made by the House of Representatives.
By: Sarah Holst