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Neglected properties concern neighborhood coalition

To the editor:

I am writing on behalf of our neighborhood coalition to bring attention to a serious issue that is going on with property tax delinquencies with East Liverpool, My neighbors and I work very hard to keep our neighborhood looking nice and do our best to keep our homes and yards well maintained.

With the mayor’s leadership in the city, things are really starting to turn in a positive direction, but abandoned homes, blight and declined property values are issues that need to be resolved and with leadership from county officials.

Unfortunately there are over 1,750 properties within East Liverpool that are currently one year or more past due. In working with the land bank, it was determined that there are approximately 6,000 homes within the city. This means that nearly 30 percent of the entire city is not paying their share of real estate taxes, while still consuming services that the city and schools provide. These delinquencies equate to over $1.6 million in East Liverpool alone. According to a podcast done by (Columbiana County) Treasurer (Theresa) Bolon on Sept. 26, 2020, there is currently over $18 million delinquent in Columbiana County and over $8.6 million in delinquencies even if you remove large disputed cases.

There are dozens of properties that are decades past due with no foreclosure action from the treasurer and prosecutor office. There are currently over 30 abandoned properties that have fire damage that are still actively on the tax rolls.

With mismanagement like this, the city cannot receive these much needed funds, and their hands are tied. The school system is impacted the most. It’s a shame that the leadership continues to allow this year after year while the city and school have operated in deficits and have had to cut services. These delinquencies need to be addressed immediately so that proper legal action can happen to clean up our neighborhoods.

JAMES D. CASTO,

Thompson Hill Neighborhood Association,

East Liverpool

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