Erie County (NY) Clerk Mickey Kearns has been taking on so-called “zombie” properties for years, but now he’s got a new target to shame besides lenders: Erie County itself.
Kearns states, many municipalities in the county are struggling with delinquent vacant and neglected properties whose owners owe a lot of taxes to the county but don’t have a mortgage or tax escrow.
Though directly blaming the county itself, Kearns clearly states, “I’m not taking any shots at anyone. It’s the policy that needs to change.” No one’s advocating that people shouldn’t pay their taxes. But the county has discretion.”
The solutions being offered by Kearns for these “tax zombies” have similar objectives to “zombie foreclosures”, assist people to remain in their homes and when a property is abandoned, return it to productive use as quickly as possible.
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In a follow up release, Erie County Clerk Michael P. Kearns and the Western New York Law Center released a report titled “ZOMBIE Initiative Tax Delinquency Report” revealing $112 million in delinquent property taxes on thousands of properties, both residential and commercial, that each owe $500 or more throughout Erie County.
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