A new state law amends New York's land bank legislation introduced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration in 2011. Land banks are mechanisms for acquiring or demolishing abandoned properties that are delinquent on their taxes. The bill removes previous barriers that restricted counties and municipalities from purchasing properties without judicial authorization, allowing them to bid at public sales. Republican state Sen. Mark Grisanti sponsored the legislation.
The City of Rochester has been given state approval to establish one of the state’s ten Land Banks. The city’s Land Bank will support the acquisition of vacant, tax-delinquent properties which will then be renovated and sold through the HOME Rochester program. The aim is to also get more properties back on the tax rolls.
The Syracuse Common Council voted Monday to give the city's newly formed land bank a loan for startup costs and to share property tax revenue so the land bank can function over the long term, but some felt the details of those plans left a lot to be desired.
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.
Newly formed "land banks" in upstate New York are moving forward, despite uncertainties on just how they'll work - or be funded. The quasi-public entity in Syracuse recently presented a plan to the city to begin foreclosing on its approximately 3,900 vacant and tax delinquent properties, but there are still unanswered questions.