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Local officials hope a new law will help clean up the city.

Senate Bill 415, which took effect July 1, overhauls Indiana’s property tax system and gives cities more tools to deal with problem properties — especially those sitting empty and uncared for.

Local officials said they’re still researching the law to learn what effect it will have on Greenfield, but they’re encouraged that the General Assembly took steps to fight abandoned and vacant properties that can create eyesores in a community.

Signed into law May 6 by Gov. Mike Pence, the 56-page bill enacts a variety of changes, including a provision that allows cities and towns to offer a tax break to property owners who rehabilitate problem properties.

It also enables new buyers to acquire the deeds for abandoned and vacant properties sooner. Previously, when buyers purchased properties at tax sales in Indiana, they had to wait 120 days to a year before obtaining the deed.

At any time during that waiting period, the original owner could pay off delinquent taxes and take back ownership of the property. Lawmakers said that redemption period kept new buyers from making any immediate improvements to the property.