City Council President Darrell Clarke said if property owners don't want to sell or redevelop their vacant land, the city will raise its taxes.
Clarke introduced a bill today that would create a "Real Estate non-utilization tax" that wouldtarget owners who sit on undeveloped land. This new tax would increase taxes annually until the land is sold or developed.
"The longer you hold onto a vacant or unused piece of property, the higher this particular tax will be on top of the property tax they are already paying," said Jane Roh, Clarke's spokeswoman.
The hope is the tax would increase redevelopment and reduce blight.
Clarke, who advocated for this tax in previous years to no avail, reintroduced the bill in light of Wednesday's building collapse at 22nd and Market Streets. The building's owner, Richard Basciano,has owned properties between 21st and 22nd Streets for years without offering plans for redevelopment.