91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Lawmaker wants to make business tougher for land speculators

State Sen. Tupac Hunter
State Sen. Tupac Hunter

Legislation introduced at the state Capitol aims to make it more difficult for land speculators to bid on foreclosure properties at tax auctions.

State Senator Tupac Hunter says the glut of foreclosure properties has created an environment ripe for speculators who buy properties to flip them, with no intention of improving them or paying taxes on them.

His legislation would set some restrictions on who can participate in auctions where tax-foreclosed properties are sold:

"So before you participate in an auction you have to sign up with the county, and if you owe back taxes on property that you own, you can’t participate in the auction."

Hunter says blight citations should also be a red flag to disqualify potential buyers.

He says ultimately, he’d like more comprehensive reforms that would include things like requiring buyers to have a plan for improving the properties they buy.

Sarah Hulett is Michigan Public's Director of Amplify & Longform, helping reporters to do their best work.