Lawmakers want Albany to pay for state’s vacant properties in Ogdensburg

Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 4:11 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

OGDENSBURG, New York (WWNY) - If it works, it would be a first. Ogdensburg city councillors want New York state to make payments on all of its abandoned or vacant properties to the city.

The state has a lot of abandoned property in Ogdensburg and City Councillor John Rishe wants the state to pay the city the equivalent of $8.2 million in tax exemptions.

“They own more than 30 percent of the property - not the value of the property, but 30 percent of the land mass of the city of Ogdensburg. I don’t think there’s another community in New York state that has that kind of claim to fame,” he said.

Of that 30 percent, more than half of it sits on the water. That includes the shuttered Ogdensburg Correctional Facility and state psychiatric center.

City Councillor Dan Scamperle thinks his fellow lawmaker is onto something.

“You’re talking, you know, $20 to $40 million a year that the state is just taking out of our economy by these two facilities, and yet they still own this property - property that has dilapidated and needs to be cleaned up that they’re ignoring,” he said.

Rishe plans on presenting a Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program in which the state would pay Ogdensburg money.

7 News received a statement from State Senator Patty Ritchie saying she’s currently drafting legislation that would order the state to pay taxes and provide the city with some economic relief.