GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Grand Rapids City Commissioners voted to deed 163 pieces of abandoned homes and property to the Kent County Land Bank on Tuesday morning.
The move puts $1.1 million in the city's bank account, and takes the foreclosed property off the city's hands.
Commissioners voted 6-1, with First Ward Commissioner Dave Shaffer voting against the move.
The Kent County Land Bank is a group that was created to get vacant and abandoned tax-foreclosed properties back on the open market.
Under the agreement with the city, the Land Bank has 18 months to sell the property to private individuals. If they fail to sell it, the Land Bank assumes ownership.
Unlike most tax -reverted properties, which are generally sold at auction, the Land Bank actually markets the properties through realtors, so buyers have a better idea what they're getting.
Out of the 73 properties acquired by the Land Bank in it's first year, 2012, 70 percent were sold.
Once the Land Bank sells the property, it collects 50 percent of the tax revenue collected.
But the Land Bank, which is funded through sales of property, tax collection and private grants, has its critics.
The Kent County Tax Payers Alliance calls the city's agreement with the Land Bank a sweetheart deal.
"This below-market-value transfer, before those properties reach the public auction block, is a bad deal for taxpayers and for the City of Grand Rapids." said the Alliance in a statement released before Tuesday's vote.
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