ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York lawmakers are pushing for the approval of a statewide bill that aims to reduce the number of ‘zombie’ properties.
‘Zombie’ properties are an issue that affect neighborhoods across upstate, from Albany to Utica to Buffalo.
“It’s caused nightmares for first responders and public safety members. And for far too long, these buildings have also been buildings where criminal activity, drug activity can find itself a new home,” John McDonald, New York State Assemblymember, said.
A measure seeks to lessen the number of properties with red and white X signs statewide.
It changes the tax redemption period on certified vacant and abandoned properties down to one year from two years.
Lawmakers say that will allow governments to move the properties to new owners quicker.
“Whether they auction it, whether they sell it, whether they transfer it to the land bank – they have many different options.”
Supporters say it will ultimately lower the cost localities have to spend on the properties, and they say it should add to the tax base.
“Every day these properties sit abandoned is a day that the city doesn’t collect tax revenue on these properties,” Wade Beltramo, NYCOM General Counsel, said.
The bill had unanimous support during the legislative session, passing both chambers. It has not yet been delivered to the governor.