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State Senate passes bill targeting zombie home tax redemption

Senators work in the Senate Chamber at the

Senators work in the Senate Chamber at the Capitol on June 17, 2015 in Albany. Credit: AP

The State Senate has passed a bill aimed at battling homes in foreclosure that fall into disrepair.

The Senate has unanimously passed a bill that reduces the tax redemption period for abandoned buildings from two years to one year. The legislation is targeted at “zombie” homes — houses that have been abandoned by their owner that are stuck in the state’s long foreclosure process, often becoming blighted properties. 

The bill, which received bipartisan support, was sponsored by Sen. Kathleen Marchione (R-Halfmoon) and co-sponsored by Sen. David Valesky (D-Oneida) and local Sens. John Brooks (D-Seaford), Tom Croci (R-Sayville) and Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach). 

Under the bill, properties that have been certified as abandoned by a building department official will have their tax redemption period expire one year after the lien date. According to the bill, this will ultimately serve as a benefit to not only neighborhoods where decaying properties result in lowered property values but also local governments, which will see a reduction in outstanding tax delinquencies.

A version of the bill is now with the Assembly.

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