Onondaga County continues fight to force companies to pay back taxes

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Onondaga County Legislature has given the go-ahead to seize a property in Geddes, if a judge approves.

DMI Acquisitions, an Ohio-based company, owns the old Suez Energy coal fired power plant in Geddes. Onondaga County says DMI owes more than $1 million in back taxes, dating back to 2014.

Tuesday, legislators unanimously agreed the county should give the property to the County’s Industrial Development Agency to get them back on the tax rolls. A State Supreme County Judge has the final say on what happens with the ongoing legal battle between the two.

“We’re pleased the legislature acted. It was a little late, but better late than never, on giving the authority for the county to transfer the property to the development corporation,” Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said. “Certainly there’s a court case pending right now, DMI has filed a court case to stop us from actually transferring it, now this will move that process along. The reality is this is a company that owes us a million dollars, they were trying to scrap the property of its value and they haven’t paid the sewer unit charges on this property. They haven’t done anything and there’s reason to believe that they may even be still trying to scrap the property.”

ShoppingTown Mall and Great Northern Mall both owe money as well.

The ShoppingTown saga has been well documented by NewsChannel 9 and after several years, it is still ongoing.

Monday, the county announced Great Northern Mall owes more than $3 million. McMahon says the law states it can’t be seized until three years of back taxes have added up. After several calls to the owner of Great Northern Mall, ownership told NewsChannel 9 it was working on a payment plan. McMahon says that is news to him.

“I was very interested to read they’ve been talking to our office because they haven’t,” he said. “This is a company that is taking rents, they went and actually had a tax assessment agreement in Supreme Court about eight months ago, so they agreed with the Town of Clay on what their assessment should be, yet they owed money, yet they didn’t pay any money. So this is an amazing thing, they actually come to an agreement on what their assessment should be, yet their still not paying taxes. So, look I’d love to hear from the owner. He can actually call me, I’d love to talk to him, but again, these folks need to pay their taxes, not take rents, take services, and not pay their bill to the public.”

Great Northern Mall has until October 2020 before Onondaga County can move forward with legal action. McMahon says more updates on delinquent properties are expected later this week.

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