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Activists Call On NYC To End Tax Lien Sale

2020-10-14 08:21
Community and housing associations are teaming up with lawmakers in efforts to abolish the tax lien sale in New York City. What is a tax lien sale? Take a property owner for example. If he has unpaid water bills or didn’t pay his taxes, those unpaid charges become tax liens, A-K-A claims against the property. The city sells those liens to a private trust managed by Bank of New York Mellon. The bank adds on fees and interest to unpaid debts the owner ows and can eventually foreclose on the property to get the money. According to the lawyer working with the activists, the city sells the debt for 70 cents on the dollar. The city didn’t respond to us right away, but in 2017 it told the Gothamist the sale is “critical in ensuring collection of property taxes and, in turn, funding important services in the city budget.” But some argue it is negatively affecting minority communities. The President of the Cypress Hills Civic Association said if someone is behind on their bill or taxes by only a few thousand dollars they are subject to the lien sale. The tax lien sale is a Giuliani-era policy that is set to expire at the end of the year. The activists are pleading to the city not to reauthorize it. Kevin Hogan, NTD News, New York.