RAMAPO, N.Y. -- Taxpayers should not have to support commercial property owners who do not pay their taxes, Rockland County County Executive Ed Day said Tuesday, standing aside Patrick Farm while announcing the start of an aggressive effort to foreclose on non-residential property owners who are in arrears.
Day has chosen to begin the crackdown with the 208-acre Patrick Farm, owned by Scenic Development, LLC in Ramapo because it is the largest, non-residential tax delinquent in Rockland. "It's the most egregious example," Day said.
Scenic Development owes more than $350,000 in back taxes. The owner last paid taxes in October, Day said, adding that the owner negotiated a payment installment last summer but has failed to make good on its promises.
The county on Monday filed a petition and notice of foreclosure on 150 acres owned by Scenic Development. The property owner has 90 days to redeem. If the county acquires the land through foreclosure, it will be put on auction.
The county has recently changed its grace policy for tax delinquents from three years to two years because "we are a county in financial distress." The policy also allows the county to seek foreclosure against property owners who breach pre-arranged installment payment agreements in a timely way.
The county has identified 125 non-residential tax-delinquent properties countywide, with a total of more than $3.3 million in arrears.
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