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Bills Put ‘More Teeth’ Behind Blight Busts

LANSING (WWJ) – An attack aimed at blighted properties across the state is gaining speed.

State Senator Virgil K. Smith, along with bipartisan support, this week introduced a five-bill package aimed at creating tougher penalties for people who contribute to the problem.

“If you buy up land or if you are illegally dumping and you are issued a blight ticket, it puts more teeth behind it,” Smith explained. “So, you could be charged with a misdemeanora 90-day misdemeanor.”

“We will be able to garnish your wages. We will be able to foreclose on your for whatever amount of the ticket,” he said. “If you want to pull permits for something else you would not be able to. If you want to get zoned for something else, you would not be able to.”

If the bills pass, the fine structure could go as high as $1,500.

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