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Posted on: November 1, 2022

City prevails in County’s 4th attempt to control City’s Property Tax Foreclosure Law & Collection

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The City of Ogdensburg was notified this week that the New York State Court of Appeals DENIED St. Lawrence County Treasurer Renee Cole and County Attorney Steven Button’s request for a “stay” of the City’s changes to its “Property Tax Foreclosure Law” enacted last year.    The matter was first  DISMISSED by the New York State Supreme Court for lack of legal sufficiency, and that decision was UPHELD by the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 3rd Department.   The matter is now awaiting action from the New York State Court of Appeals, however in the meantime, Renee Cole and Steven Button sought to have the City’s ability to govern itself placed on hold while until the appeal is heard.   The County enjoyed decades of free service from the City and has made every attempt to block, impede and stall any initiative from the City that would consolidate local government, streamline services and remove duplicate local government functions.   

This now the 4th court ruling that has gone against the desires of County officials that have forced the expenditure of thousands of dollars of local taxpayer funds, double from city taxpayers.    Sadly, County Treasurer Renee Cole and County Attorney Steven Button do not hesitate to involve Albany politicians in North County business and the expenditure of taxpayer funds on such a frivolous matter is of no concern to them.   

Since early 2020, St. Lawrence County officials have sought to control the City of Ogdensburg and when those efforts failed, County officials moved swiftly to reduce the City’s share of Sales Tax by over 50% ($2M) at a time when Mayor Jeffrey M. Skelly’s administration was working diligently to save the City from financial ruin.   The City of Ogdensburg is now facing a $3.5M deficit in its annual 2023 operating budget that will likely cause the elimination of over 20 jobs.   

The below schedule of events is next in the matter.  

 

Type

Party

Date Due


Appellant Brief

St. Lawrence County (A)

12/26/2022 


Respondent Brief

City of Ogdensburg (R)

02/09/2023


Appellant Reply Brief

St. Lawrence County (A)

02/24/2023


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