Josh Smith
Show-Me Institute Policy Analyst Audrey Spalding is in Jefferson City today to give testimony about land banks.

The state legislature is currently considering legislation that would create a land bank in Kansas City with much the same power and authority as the Saint Louis land bank, the Land Reutilization Authority (LRA). Audrey's policy study on the LRA, "Standstill: Is Saint Louis Hindering Development by Waiting for Large-Scale Miracles?" (published last April) provides important insight into the potential pitfalls of a land bank with expansive authority to acquire and hold property.

The lessons of the LRA are well worth considering for any proposed land bank. Lofty public policy dreams often run afoul of the law of unintended consequences, and the long history of the LRA may serve better as a cautionary tale than an achievement to be repeated.

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