(570 WSYR) Syracuse Common Councilors voted Monday afternoon to approve foreclosures on about 33 city properties, including 11 owner-occupied homes, as its crackdown continues on delinquent taxpayers. Councilor Bob Dougherty says 17 homeowners were facing foreclosure but about 5 had made arrangements to get caught up on back taxes before Monday's vote. Dougherty says more than 2 million dollars in back taxes have been collected by August since the crackdown began in November 2012. And Dougherty says, "that doesn't include penalties." He says penalities would likely bring that total to more than $4 million.
Dougherty says 600 more letters were being sent out Monday. Properties that face foreclosure will be seized by the Greater Syracuse Land Bank in about four weeks and sold to new owners. Some seized properties might be leased back to their original owners on a case-by-case basis. Doughtery says he believes the amount of delinquent taxes is about $20 million dollars.
Dougherty says terms of the tax trust were not changed by councilmembers because state law prohibits any modification. Under the tax trust, delinquent taxpayers must put down 10 percent of their unpaid taxes, plus one year's taxes and pay the balance off with 12 percent interest.