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Dauphin County starts land bank project in Steelton

The Dauphin County Land Bank Authority is revving up its latest redevelopment project.

George Connor, executive director of the Dauphin County Department of Community & Economic Development, said the land bank will be renovating a vacant and blighted home at 101 Locust St. in Steelton.

The authority will partner with Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Harrisburg Area on the project, which involves splitting the home into two residential units to be sold.

“The borough gets a vacant eyesore renovated and back on the tax rolls,” Connor said.

The renovation will be aided by a $69,000 gaming grant awarded to the authority earlier this year. Renovations are expected to take about six to eight months, Connor said.

Dauphin County was the first in the commonwealth to adopt a land bank ordinance in 2013. A $250,000 gaming grant was used to provide seed money for the land bank authority.

The land bank’s first project was the renovation of a ranch-style home at 3504 Centerfield Road in Susquehanna Township, which sold for $120,000. The Steelton project will be the land bank’s fourth project.

Land banks rely on the proceeds from each sale to fund additional acquisitions. Property taxes are another potential source of funding. Once a property is back in the market and generating tax revenue, the land bank and municipalities involved can split the revenue.

State law allows land banks to collect up to 50 percent of the property taxes paid for five years after transfer of a property.

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