Legislator Tom Cilmi: Develop Brownfields Through Suffolk County's Land Bank


Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi

Brownfields and Suffolk County's Land Bank

There are more than 100 potentially contaminated tax delinquent properties, called Brownfields, in Suffolk County. These properties are blights in communities, cost the taxpayers millions in uncollected taxes and are potentially harming our environment. All total, back taxes on these properties have accumulated to almost $30 million.
Normally, the County takes the tax deeds to tax delinquent properties and resells them at auction. Because of the potential for environmental liability, however, these properties remain in limbo. Until now.
Recent legislation proposed by myself, Legislator DuWayne Gregory and the County Executive, approved the creation of a state authorized not for profit corporation called a Land Bank. This new legislation will enable the transfer of these properties to the Land Bank with no liability to the taxpayers. The Land Bank can then sell the properties, make sure they're cleaned up and put them back on the tax rolls. The County will transfer our first properties this year. This creative solution is a win for the environment, a win for taxpayers and a win for communities.

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