Proposed law to fight blight in Baton Rouge

Local News

You see them all around town and for residents who live near a blighted property, it’s an eyesore.

“They should be taken down.” said a Baton Rouge resident.

Unfortunately, they must stay in their current condition for now. That could soon change with House Bill 466. Under the current law, it is nearly impossible to provide adequate notice in a case where an owner abandoned a property.

“They not paying taxes on it and they’re not keeping it up so why leave it there? For it to turn out, people be going in it vandalizing it so why should it stay there?”

The proposed law would allow a tax collector to demonstrate efforts to provide notice of the tax sale. First, they would attempt to deliver the notice through first class mail to the owner’s last known address. Then they would be able to perform a personal service of notice or post the notice of tax sale at the property. Residents in one neighborhood agree with the proposed law saying, they’ve seen blighted properties bring about many unwelcome guests.

“I think the blighted property increases a lot of things not just crime but anything that needs a place to hide. If you have a property that’s empty, anything can happen and not just crime but whatever, whatever you want to do it’s there, it’s empty.”

As the proposal makes its way through the legislature residents are doing their part to keep their neighborhoods hoping it can increase their property value and attract more businesses.

“It’s a risk if I’m owning a business and my business is located in an area with vacant properties then you’re welcoming people who don’t have anywhere to stay.”

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