Land bank options expanded

A bill that broadens the potential use of land banks in Nebraska passed Aug. 11.

Sen. Dan Quick
Sen. Dan Quick

LB424, introduced by Grand Island Sen. Dan Quick, allows any municipality in Nebraska to join an existing land bank—a tax-exempt political subdivision that acquires, manages and develops vacant and tax-delinquent properties—under the Nebraska Municipal Land Bank Act.

Metropolitan and primary class cities are allowed to create stand-alone land banks under the bill.

Among other provisions, LB424 also:
• prohibits a land bank from issuing bonds;
• prevents a land bank from investing in a property that financially could benefit a board member, their businesses or their immediate family members;
• limits the total number of parcels that a land bank may own;
• requires a land bank to issue an annual report to the Legislature;
• prevents a land bank from receiving property tax revenue from an agreement under the Joint Public Agency Act; and
• allows an entity that creates or joins a land bank to withdraw from the agreement by a two-thirds vote of the governing body.

Sen. Steve Erdman of Bayard offered a motion on final reading to bracket LB424 until the end of the legislative session. He said the bill would take privately held land and give it to a governmental entity.

Lincoln Sen. Matt Hansen supported the bill, which he said would enable political subdivisions to make a property more attractive to real estate developers.

“This is an opportunity for some of these really problem properties to be addressed,” Hansen said.

After approximately an hour of discussion, Quick offered a motion to invoke cloture, which ends debate on a bill. Lawmakers voted 33-12 to invoke cloture. Thirty-three votes were needed. Senators then rejected the bracket motion and passed LB424 on a 31-12 vote.

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