This commentary was first published by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a research and educational institute headquartered in Midland, Mich., and a sister think tank to the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.
By Audrey Spalding
Though property vacancy is a pressing problem in some areas of Michigan, the government land banks created to address it may be doing more harm than good. Some land banks have actually blocked private buyers from purchasing vacant property, and others have discriminatory sales policies.
In the western part of the state, the Kent County Land Bank caused a stir last summer when it snapped up more than 40 vacant properties before tax auction. By doing so, the land bank blocked would-be buyers from…