County Stepping Up To Nusiance Properties

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BAY COUNTY-- Bay County commissioners are also taking steps to make sure owners of nuisance properties pay for having them cleaned up.

From now on, the cost of the clean up will be added to the property owner's tax bill.

In the past, the county would pay to have the properties cleaned up.

The cost would be placed as a lien on the property in a practice called "clean and lien."

However, in some cases it would be years before the property was sold and the county collected its money.

Another problem with the old system is when the courts ruled on foreclosures they removed the liens.

Commissioners say they're trying protect tax payer money.

"It doesn't cost anymore. What it does is cost that particular property owner that they choose not to take care of their property. We don't go out and typically find them. We're so busy going out to the ones we have called on. So its problems we have in neighborhoods that we're looking at or businesses," said Mike Thomas, Bay County Commissioner.

A number of Florida cities and counties have already moved to this new system.