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 Syracuse is cracking down on property owners who don't pay taxes. But, as lawmakers prepare to vote on whether the city should seize over 100 tax delinquent properties, there are some concerns about those properties that aren't vacant.
Declining populations and shuttered factories have left rustbelt cities - like Buffalo or Rochester - with numerous vacant and abandoned properties. They can be old homes, former warehouses, or out-of-favor shopping centers.
Municipalities face the challenge of how to get those properties back into productive use.
Syracuse officials are accusing the ownership of three vacant gas stations at a southern entrance to the city of blocking the properties' sale in the name of competition.
On Monday, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner brought in Sen. Charles Schumer to call on Sunoco to allow the sale and redevelopment of the stations near the intersection of Seneca Turnpike and East Brighton Ave.
One of the properties has been vacant more than 15 years.
Entering the city and driving past the rundown properties sets "a bad tone" for the area, Schumer said.