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Rockland County, NY - Controversial High Density Housing Project Facing Foreclosure Under New Rockland County Policy

Published on: March 23, 2016 11:07 AM
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County Executive Ed DayCounty Executive Ed Day

New York - Rockland County is taking a tough stance on tax scofflaws, with a new effort that will expedite foreclosures on vacant non-residential tax delinquent properties, potentially sending a hotly contested property that could provide several hundred residences for Orthodox Jewish families to the auction block.

County Executive Ed Day made the announcement Tuesday at a press conference standing outside Patrick Farm on the northern end of Route 306 in Pomona. The 208 acre property was bought by Scenic Development LLC. in 2001 for $7.5 million and has been the subject of controversy for years, with residents opposing plans for several hundred high density housing units to be constructed by developers Yechiel Lebovits, several of his sons and Abraham Moscovits.

Patrick Farm has an outstanding debt of more than $350,000, an amount that is expected to grow to $500,000 in the next few weeks when tax records are updated, making it the largest unpaid outstanding tax bill in the county.  Day said that the county began foreclosure proceedings on Monday for Patrick Farm and 124 other properties which have a collective tax debt of $3.3 million.

Previously the county had to wait three years before initiating foreclosure proceedings on delinquent properties, but the new policy unveiled Tuesday would allow the county to begin foreclosing on properties with outstanding tax liens after just two years.  The initiative kicked off this week and also gives the county the ability to foreclose on property owners who fail to live up to their commitments on pre-arranged installment payment agreements.

“Tax delinquents must and will be held accountable,” said Day.  “We will not allow those who look to work the system to force the good people of our county to foot their bill.  It is a matter of fairness and it is a matter of law.”

As one of the largest undeveloped sites in Ramapo, the Patrick Farm development has been facing legal challenges for years by those who hope to protect both a natural gas line on the property as well as wetlands which supply drinking water to the Lower Hudson Valley and parts of Bergen County.

Opponents have also objected to the size of the plan, which includes 479 housing units and could bring several thousand new residents to the development as reported by The Journal News.  Directly across the two lane roadway lies another highly controversial project, the proposed Congregation Rabbinical College Tartikov, which include a yeshiva and on site adult housing.  That property has been embroiled in lengthy legal battles as well, with Tartikov suing the Village of Pomona for denying the property a tax exemption under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act as previously reported on VIN News (http://goo.gl/dEVBeK).

County officials said that Scenic Development had agreed to a two year installment plan to pay off its tax liens, which date back to 2013, this past July but that those payments stopped in October, with the new county policy giving the county an opening to initiate foreclosure proceedings against Scenic Development.  No change has been made in county law regarding homeowners who have a three year grace period before foreclosure proceedings could take place.

Although Day described the Patrick Farm project as “one of the most untoward developments that I see on the horizon for Rockland County,” he noted that his new initiative was aimed only at collecting taxes and was unrelated to any possible construction at the site.


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Read Comments (11)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Mar 23, 2016 at 11:41 AM Anonymous Says:

Rockland County needs more tax payers. Eleven houses were sold on my block in the past year. The sellers all worked and paid full taxes. The new owners have claimed that their houses are houses of worship and therefore pay no taxes. Who will eventually pay taxes to support the thousands moving in who don't work and claim their houses as shuls? Eleven kids, no one works or pays taxes. I'm fed up as a senior citizen!

2

 Mar 23, 2016 at 02:13 PM OhevYisroel Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Rockland County needs more tax payers. Eleven houses were sold on my block in the past year. The sellers all worked and paid full taxes. The new owners have claimed that their houses are houses of worship and therefore pay no taxes. Who will eventually pay taxes to support the thousands moving in who don't work and claim their houses as shuls? Eleven kids, no one works or pays taxes. I'm fed up as a senior citizen!

1. ELEVEN houses sold on your block? really? new owners of the ELEVEN houses claim they are used for houses of warship?!? ELEVEN?! we need to believe you?!
2. oh well, houses in Monsey more than quadrupled in the last 10 years - where is tax money going?!?

3

 Mar 23, 2016 at 02:31 PM Yossi Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Rockland County needs more tax payers. Eleven houses were sold on my block in the past year. The sellers all worked and paid full taxes. The new owners have claimed that their houses are houses of worship and therefore pay no taxes. Who will eventually pay taxes to support the thousands moving in who don't work and claim their houses as shuls? Eleven kids, no one works or pays taxes. I'm fed up as a senior citizen!

sorry maybe you saw Eleven people but not eleven houses sold.
we need 10 for a minyed and 11 is better .
don't worry the money is not coming from your stolen money you stole all your life.
we pay our fair share taxes like every other citizen.
yes if you have a shul the portion of the shul is exempt but so are the churches exempt ...

4

 Mar 23, 2016 at 03:28 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Yossi Says:

sorry maybe you saw Eleven people but not eleven houses sold.
we need 10 for a minyed and 11 is better .
don't worry the money is not coming from your stolen money you stole all your life.
we pay our fair share taxes like every other citizen.
yes if you have a shul the portion of the shul is exempt but so are the churches exempt ...

Not everyone steals. We've worked our entire lives and always paid taxes even though our kids went to private schools. There are still some honest Jews out there who abide by the US laws.

5

 Mar 23, 2016 at 03:33 PM RocklandRes Says:

So we have FBI raiding Yeshivas for E-Rate Fraud, FBI poised to arrest local politicians and related bribers from all the talk started when Moses Stern got caught ripping off CitiBank for $124,000,000, FBI going after CSL for securities fraud revolving around using Provident Stadium money to build so called low income housing in Spring Valley that was all bought up by Brooklyn Rabbis and now Ed Day foreclosing on dead beat tax cheats. It's gonna be fun times in Monsey.

6

 Mar 23, 2016 at 05:17 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Yossi Says:

sorry maybe you saw Eleven people but not eleven houses sold.
we need 10 for a minyed and 11 is better .
don't worry the money is not coming from your stolen money you stole all your life.
we pay our fair share taxes like every other citizen.
yes if you have a shul the portion of the shul is exempt but so are the churches exempt ...

I guess you are that uneducated to think that a block can have 40 houses and 11 are sold to hasidim who don't work and claim their houses as shuls.

7

 Mar 23, 2016 at 05:23 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
RocklandRes Says:

So we have FBI raiding Yeshivas for E-Rate Fraud, FBI poised to arrest local politicians and related bribers from all the talk started when Moses Stern got caught ripping off CitiBank for $124,000,000, FBI going after CSL for securities fraud revolving around using Provident Stadium money to build so called low income housing in Spring Valley that was all bought up by Brooklyn Rabbis and now Ed Day foreclosing on dead beat tax cheats. It's gonna be fun times in Monsey.

FBI is still here. There is more here than in Belgium as far as conspiracies are concerned. Hasidim are squeezing us out of our well cared for homes, throwing garbage on lawns, letting 3 year Olds play alone on the streets, not raking leaves, yada.

8

 Mar 23, 2016 at 06:05 PM monseyma Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Rockland County needs more tax payers. Eleven houses were sold on my block in the past year. The sellers all worked and paid full taxes. The new owners have claimed that their houses are houses of worship and therefore pay no taxes. Who will eventually pay taxes to support the thousands moving in who don't work and claim their houses as shuls? Eleven kids, no one works or pays taxes. I'm fed up as a senior citizen!

You may not like what is happening to Monsey, but without a doubt, tax income has quadrupled for Rockland County! On my block alone, several old, run-down houses were replaced with large 2-family semi-attached homes. This means that the same property brings in almost double in taxes that it did before, since their are now 2 property owners who both have homes with more square footage than the old hut. And no, not a single shul was built on my block! The same is happening all around town.
As for Patrick Farm, a little rachmanus on the owners! If they would have been allowed to build - ok, maybe not as large as they wanted, but SOMETHING - thousands of dollars in taxes would have been collected from the new residents. Because of all the hate, the owners basically have their hands tied, where they cannot put up any units but most continue paying thousands in taxes annually. This has been dragging on for years and they are simply choked. So even if you didn't like their plans, there should have been some effort from the local government to come to a compromise about what to do with the property.

9

 Mar 23, 2016 at 06:17 PM IamYid Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Rockland County needs more tax payers. Eleven houses were sold on my block in the past year. The sellers all worked and paid full taxes. The new owners have claimed that their houses are houses of worship and therefore pay no taxes. Who will eventually pay taxes to support the thousands moving in who don't work and claim their houses as shuls? Eleven kids, no one works or pays taxes. I'm fed up as a senior citizen!

Everything you said you could say in one short sentence: I hate Jews.

10

 Mar 23, 2016 at 10:51 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
IamYid Says:

Everything you said you could say in one short sentence: I hate Jews.

Why is it when people want to follow the law and be honest, they "hate Jews"? I have to answer to Hashem and be judged by him. I just can't commit fraud 24/7, lie, cheat and steal. A few of us are really good, decent people who don't exploit everyone.

11

 Mar 24, 2016 at 11:23 AM RocklandRes Says:

Reply to #8  
monseyma Says:

You may not like what is happening to Monsey, but without a doubt, tax income has quadrupled for Rockland County! On my block alone, several old, run-down houses were replaced with large 2-family semi-attached homes. This means that the same property brings in almost double in taxes that it did before, since their are now 2 property owners who both have homes with more square footage than the old hut. And no, not a single shul was built on my block! The same is happening all around town.
As for Patrick Farm, a little rachmanus on the owners! If they would have been allowed to build - ok, maybe not as large as they wanted, but SOMETHING - thousands of dollars in taxes would have been collected from the new residents. Because of all the hate, the owners basically have their hands tied, where they cannot put up any units but most continue paying thousands in taxes annually. This has been dragging on for years and they are simply choked. So even if you didn't like their plans, there should have been some effort from the local government to come to a compromise about what to do with the property.

The owners bought the property when it had two acre zoning with easements. They counted on getting the corrupt Ramapo zoning board to rezone in their favor. Well too bad they made a bad bet on corruption and public apathy. These weren't naive small developers, they knew exactly what they were getting into and they made a big mistake.
Boo Hoo.

12

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