New registry for vacant properties in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. is telling individuals and banks to place their empty properties in the city's Vacant Property Registry.

The Commercial Appeal reports the new electronic system tracks the owners of blighted properties in Memphis.

The registry is for single-family houses or condominiums that are vacant, abandoned and behind on taxes. Individual owners or banks that hold mortgages on these properties must register them.

Wharton says the registry will help the government locate true owners and enforce rules on thousands of blighted properties.

Banks must pay an annual fee of $200 until the property is improved. Individual property owners do not.

Wharton says the fee will help cover the cost of maintaining the properties and pursuing legal action to press for maintenance.

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