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Pennsylvania Governor Corbett Ceremonially Signs Land Banks Bill

Legislation Encourages and Enables Community Revitalization Efforts

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett today ceremonially signed into law the Land Banks Bill, also known as House Bill 1682.

The Land Banks Bill encourages community revitalization efforts by enabling local government entities to eliminate their blight property problems through restoration of abandoned and tax delinquent properties.

Under the law, counties, boroughs, townships and incorporated towns with populations of 10,000 or more residents will be able to establish land banks to acquire, hold, and manage their tax foreclosed, abandoned properties and return them to productive re-use for smart regional growth and development.

"Today I am putting my signature on a way of preserving the quality of life for many of our communities," Corbett said. "This is a bill about community revitalization and protecting property values for families, who have worked hard, put savings into their homes and deserve to see every dollar they invested reflected in their property values."

Once adopted by local ordinance, the local entities are able, through the land banks, to design, develop, construct, demolish, reconstruct, rehabilitate, renovate, relocate and improve the properties within their jurisdictions.

" Pennsylvania has roughly 300,000 vacant and abandoned properties," Corbett said. "That is an astonishing number."

"These land banks can bring those properties back to life, making them community assets instead of local hazards."

The law, introduced by Rep. John Taylor (R- Philadelphia), was officially signed into law by Corbett on Oct. 24, 2012.

Corbett was joined at the ceremony by several federal, state and local government officials and community revitalization organizations.

The ceremony was held at Impact Services, a local organization that provides a range of employment and community services to more than 17,000 needy Philadelphians each year.

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