presstalk 671-TALK

• It has come to my attention that the Town of Farragut has ordinances (which are published on the Town of Farragut website), Section 14 and 22, that specifically address blighted areas and vacant buildings that are eyesores in the Town of Farragut. These ordinances clearly state actions that are to be taken by the Town administrator and Board of Mayor and Aldermen to rectify this situation. Further, many states and communities are passing bills to prevent Vacancy Fraud and Vacancy Relief. A Vacancy Fraud Act allows a taxing body or representative of a taxing body to file a vacancy fraud complaint with the county board of review if property is receiving vacancy relief and the property owner is not actively attempting to lease, sell or alter the property.

The Act sets forth factors in determining whether or not vacancy fraud has occurred and sets forth penalties. “Vacancy Relief” means a decrease in assessed value, a decrease in market value or an abatement of taxes by a chief county assessment officer, a board of review or a taxing district under any county or taxing district ordinance, resolution or policy granting such a decrease in assessed value to property that is vacant.

If determined that the property meets those conditions, the property owner must be notified and abatement rendered within 90 days of the receipt of such notice. Knox County has on its books The Vacant Properties Acquisition Act, which authorizes the use of eminent domain to acquire, hold, manage and dispose of vacant blighted property. We have ordinances and laws to prevent building owners and designated agents from abandoning their properties and creating eyesores. If you are tired of looking at these properties, I urge you to contact the Town of Farragut administrator (David Smoak) and Board of Mayor and Aldermen. I just did.