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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2012 Archives > March 2012 > Mayor Brown Continues Reforms Of City Assessment And Taxation Process

Mayor Brown Continues Reforms Of City Assessment And Taxation Process

Contact: Lorey Schultz
              (716) 851-5545
              

New reform to the city’s tax foreclosure process brings relief to taxpayers who want to keep their homes, while reducing housing abandonment and blight

Mayor Byron W. Brown announced today sweeping reforms to the City of Buffalo’s Property Tax Foreclosure process.  Following last October’s annual tax foreclosure auction, Mayor Brown ordered a top-to-bottom review of the city’s tax foreclosure process to determine ways to maximize the opportunity for a homeowner to pay their delinquent back taxes and user fees, while at the same time, reduce the City’s costs in executing the tax foreclosure process by limiting the number of properties the City forecloses on.

As a result of this review, Mayor Brown announced the following three major changes to the Tax Foreclosure Process, effective immediately:

  • Limits foreclosure to debts over $200
    Previously, the city foreclosed after a year with no minimum requirement. 
  • Offers taxpayers more time to pay off delinquent taxes and fees owed to the City of Buffalo
    Previously, city taxpayers only had until the end of January to pay any arrears before the foreclosure fee attached.
  • Reduced the foreclosure fee (formerly $445) and implemented a gradual fee schedule that caps at $305
    Taxpayers facing foreclosure can pay their outstanding arrears with no foreclosure fee attached until March 15, 2012.  After March 15, 2012, taxpayers will have until May First to pay a $150 fee to cover the city’s cost of conducting Title Searches on the properties.  After May First, the fee escalates to $305 to cover the City’s costs in completing the foreclosure process.

The City of Buffalo instituted these reforms as part of Mayor Brown’s continued reform of the city’s assessment and taxation process.  Under his leadership, the city’s assessment process also changed to a predictable three year assessment cycle, strengthening Buffalo as a competitive place for attracting and retaining private sector businesses and residents. A related legal matter has also been resolved. Buffalo’s next tax foreclosure auction is scheduled for the week of October 29, 2012.