A newly-established land bank sent out 200 foreclosure notices in Syracuse on Monday. The land bank is one of five approved by the state earlier this year, as part of an effort to reduce the number of neglected properties and to add to property tax rolls.
In Syracuse, more than 3,900 properties are so far behind on their taxes, they are subject to seizure.
“The city has not aggressively foreclosed on properties in the past, and so we have a significant portion that just don’t ever pay,” Wright said. She added that the city expects up to half of property owners to pay back the taxes they owe after receiving the notices.
The remaining lots would be foreclosed as soon as May of 2013. The land bank, officially called the Greater Syracuse Property Development Corporation, would then take ownership and act as an interim landlord before new buyers are found.
This is the first wave of foreclosure notices that the city plans to send out. The second and third waves are slated for February and May of next year.
The majority of properties receiving foreclosure notices fall into one of five geographic clusters within the city of Syracuse. In addition, fewer than 25 were chosen at random. Wright said the city hopes that a random selection will give property owners a reason to pay the taxes they owe before their area is targeted.