Onondaga County to create corporation to seize tax delinquent properties

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ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Onondaga County is taking steps to make sure it can hold property owners accountable if they owe back taxes.

County Executive Ryan McMahon announced a plan on Tuesday to create an accountability and reinvestment corporation.

It would have the power to seize commercial properties that get three years or more behind on taxes.

The plan would have them then work with the Onondaga County Industrial Development agency on a redevelopment plan for these properties.

The first target is DMI Acquisitions, an Ohio company that owns the former Suez Energy coal fired power plant in Geddes.

McMahon says, “The sense of urgency is there because of the behavior of the owners who feel they don’t need to pay taxes yet are willing to scrap a large piece of property and get paid for that.”

The last time taxes were paid on the property goes back to 2014. The back taxes now total over $1M.

“By not acting you’re just paralyzed into the status quo and the status quo isn’t acceptable,” the County Executive says.

The company appears to be abiding by the cease and desist order issued to them to prevent them from continuing to scrap the nearly endless amount of metal out there.

McMahon says, “If we are able to get back a million dollars that we’ve paid out to municipalities for property taxes that is money that goes back into our reserve account, that’s money that gets invested into infrastructure, gets invested into people.”

He adds DMI has been sent its last 30-day notice to pay up in full, pay a portion and agree to a payment plan or on July 23 the County will seize the property.

In all, the county says it is owed about $45 million from properties that have not settled tax bills.

On Monday, Shoppingtown Mall’s owners missed a court-ordered deadline to pay nearly $10 million in back taxes.


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