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Irondequoit, Brighton win court battle over argument on cleaning up zombie properties

Nov 9, 2017

A State Supreme Court Judge has issued an opinion which Irondequoit Supervisor Dave Seeley says invalidates a policy set by Monroe County last year regarding so-called ‘zombie homes’.

That policy said the county would no longer guarantee unpaid property maintenance and demolition costs which towns attach to the tax bills of abandoned properties.

Earlier this year, Irondequoit and Brighton filed a petition to appeal the policy.

The issue involves the costs that towns incur to clean up, or demolish abandoned houses. Usually, towns will apply charges for those costs to the town’s portion of a property tax bill.

Monroe County previously had guaranteed the tax money the towns were owed, even if the taxes were not actually paid by the property owner.

Seeley says the decision by Judge Scott Odorisi re-affirms the need for towns and counties to work together to help manage the distressed properties.

County administration spokesman Jesse Sleezer issued a statement which said that, "Monroe County respectfully disagrees with the Judge's decision and will file an appeal."