BRAC Applauds Passage of Critical Blight Reform Bill
HB 466 to reduce risks associated with purchasing adjudicated properties
BATON ROUGE, La. (June 6, 2019) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today applauds the passage of HB 466 by Representative Paula Davis. This piece of legislation, spearheaded by BRAC and workshopped by BRAC’s Quality of Place Committee, will aid in redeveloping communities by paving the way for the market to address blighted, adjudicated properties.
“We are grateful to Rep. Davis for her leadership on this issue, as well as to the other key legislators that shepherded the bill through the process,” said Edgardo Tenreiro, president and CEO of Baton Rouge General and chair of BRAC’s Quality of Place Committee. “Our Quality of Place Committee identified the negative impact of blighted properties on neighborhoods as a significant barrier to economic development and have worked tirelessly with BRAC staff and Rep. Davis’ office in driving this important bill through the legislature.”
Joining BRAC in advocating for the bill was a statewide, bipartisan coalition including:
- Build Baton Rouge
- City of Baton Rouge, Parish of East Baton Rouge
- Destiny of Faith Church in Lafayette
- Greater New Orleans, Inc.
- Louisiana Association of Business and Industry
- Louisiana Municipal Association
- MidCity Redevelopment Alliance
- Police Jury Association of Louisiana
HB 466 protects the validity of tax sales when reasonable and intentional steps are taken to notify required parties of the sale. This change is key to improving the vibrancy of Louisiana’s communities, which are afflicted with thousands of adjudicated properties. East Baton Rouge and Caddo parishes alone have more than 15,000 adjudicated properties between them. Taxes are not being paid for these properties, and the longer they sit adjudicated, the more likely they are to become blighted.
For the properties that have been abandoned, community development organizations often spend approximately $6,000 per property attempting to track down owners to provide them with written notice of a tax sale. HB 466 will greatly reduce the likelihood that tax sales will be nullified for lack of notice by defining the actions tax collectors may take to notify interested parties of a tax sale when those parties are either unidentifiable or unable to be located. This ensures that investments in blighted properties by neighbors and community development organizations will not be lost.
The bill brings Louisiana’s notice requirements in line with U.S. Supreme Court rulings and best practices of other states. In doing so, the law protects the due process rights of interested parties to receive notice of tax sale and maintains their opportunity to object.
Additional information related to actual notice requirements for adjudicated properties is available in the attached document.
About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area, working to grow jobs and wealth and to improve the business climate and competitiveness in the region. Today, BRAC investors include more than 1,500 small businesses, midsize firms, large industry and entrepreneurial startups, as well as individuals and organizations that support business and economic development. In this capacity, BRAC serves as the voice of the business community, providing knowledge, access, services and advocacy. More information is available at brac.org.