County Land Bank reaches milestone

A parcel sold in November marked the 300th  the Lackawanna County Land Bank sold since acquiring its first properties in March 2017. County officials hosted a news conference to highlight reaching 300 properties.

The land bank gains control of tax-delinquent, abandoned land and buildings that don’t sell at upset or judicial sales — real-estate auctions held to pay off unpaid property taxes.

For the first five years after a sale, half the property taxes cover land bank administrative costs. After that, school districts, boroughs, townships and cities get all the tax revenues. More than 1,000 properties remain on the list with the vast majority vacant lots like the Walsh and O’Malley parcels. Most often, Pappas said, the vacant lots are too small to build on. Many people buy them from the repository to augment their homes. The county is up to 308 properties sold with at least 228 in Scranton alone.

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