By Staff –
Mayor Miner vetoed the new proposal after councilors voted to reduce funds for the Syracuse Land Bank, as well as overtime pay for city police and firemen by $1 million each.
“The Land Bank is the strongest tool Syracuse has to revitalize its neighborhoods, and the Common Council has inexplicably taken that tool away from our community,” Mayor Miner stated.
However, according to the common council, the cuts were necessary in order to save the city from fiscal jeopardy. In addition, the land bank also has $4 million in its reserves, the councilors stated.
Following city council’s vote on Monday, the mayor released the following statement regarding the council’s decision to reduce the land bank’s funding:
“Today’s vote is a disappointing blow to Syracuse neighborhoods. The Land Bank has returned more than 440 previously tax delinquent properties to the tax rolls, and demolished more than 170. The council’s actions today, defunding the land bank, will result in slowing their progress, including leaving 60 vacant, blighted properties that are targets for crime and reduce property values.
Additionally, the council’s misguided action will have a negative impact on the city’s budget. Because the land bank allows us to more aggressively collect back taxes, we budgeted for more than $5 million in additional collections this year. We have already seen more than $10 million in increased tax collections since the land bank’s inception. If we cannot ensure the land bank as a tool, we cannot guarantee increased collections, and this revenue stream will not be one the city can rely upon to fund our daily operations.
“Syracuse has been recognized as a champion of fiscal responsibility, and we have charted a course for the city through hard times by making smart, strategic investments. The council’s actions today are superficial, and undercut both our financial, and neighborhood stability.”
Mayor Miner is nearing the end of her final term in office, and councilors have maintained the cuts were necessary to ensure the city’s fiscal solvency.