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Sites removed from foreclosure sale

The City Council met in special session Tuesday to remove more than 100 parcels from the annual city foreclosure sale set for 9 a.m. Friday.

The action relieves City Comptroller Linda J. Rychcik from the obligation of selling tax sale certificates. The Council indicated the benefit to the city of protecting and preserving its tax base exceeds the benefit to the city of selling a tax sale certificate at the tax sale.

The Council has selected 164 parcels with unpaid taxes for 2011 of $248,734 to be removed from the sale listing.

Aldermen Ronald Ball, William Ferguson and E.J. Riley were present and voted approval.

On Dec. 16, the city advertised the sale and listed 204 parcels with unpaid taxes of $271,768, indicating they would be sold Friday.

The action follows legislation adopted by they city in 2009 allowing the withdrawals to control the sale of the parcels.

The city's goal was -- and remains -- to remove parcels that previously were sold to Native Americans who are exempt from property taxes, leading to further erosion of the city's tax base.

Nearly all of the city is located on the Allegany Territory of the Seneca Nation of Indians.

Some parcels with unpaid taxes not on the reservation will still be listed for sale Friday. They are located in the area of Highland Avenue, on the north side of the city.

Mayor Jeff Pond said the same names are on the list each year for unpaid taxes of the parcels to be sold. "They pay eventually," he said.

Last year the sale was held Dec. 30, and there were no bidders on the nine tax title properties consisting of lots with houses and vacant land.