Lead offers enticement to keep vacant homes in shape

LEAD, S.D. (KEVN) - Property owners in Lead could land a house tax break.

An ordinance, first read last Monday, is intended to solve the vacant houses and lots problem.

This break is offered to property owners who have deserted houses for more than two years. Right now an old home and an empty lot have little or no tax value, so the city is offering an incentive to enhance the property and bring the property back to building code. The owner can choose to either tear the home down or renovate the home. Each year over a five-year period, the rebate would be offered to the homeowner. If the home is sold, the next property owner would get the rebate.

Mike Stahl, City Administrator of Lead, believes it will benefit the neighborhoods of Lead.

"Those homes just drag down neighborhoods and so do the empty lots. Some of them are maintained and some of them are weed infested and they are are kind of a maintenance nightmare. These older homes; just nobody's in them and they just get run down. And the neighborhood just drags down and a lot of people in those neighborhoods would like to see some improvements made,” said Stahl.

Anyone interested in getting involved could talk to Lead City Hall.
The next reading of the ordinance is set for next Monday and in early December there will be a housing summit for Lead.