SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Mayor Stephanie A. Miner issued the following statement following the Common Council’s vote to defund the Greater Syracuse Land Bank.
“Today’s vote is a disappointing blow to Syracuse neighborhoods. The Land Bank has returned more than 440 previously tax delinquent properties to the tax rolls and demolished more than 170. The Council’s actions today defunding the Land Bank will result in slowing their progress, including leaving 60 vacant, blighted properties that are targets for crime and reduce property values.
“Additionally, the Council’s misguided action will have a negative impact on the city’s budget. Because the Land Bank allows us to more aggressively collect back taxes, we budgeted for more than $5 million in additional collections this year. We have already seen more than $10 million in increased tax collections since the Land Bank’s inception. If we cannot ensure the Land Bank as a tool, we cannot guarantee increased collections and this revenue stream will not be one the city can rely upon to fund our daily operations.
“Syracuse has been recognized as a champion of fiscal responsibility and we have charted a course for the city through hard times by making smart, strategic investments. The Council’s actions today are superficial and undercut both our financial and neighborhood stability.”