Skip to comments.Blame for blighted properties in Monessen reaches across globe
Posted on 08/12/2014 7:17:52 AM PDT by Vigilanteman
Mayor Lou Mavrakis drove slowly through Monessen, block by block, pointing out one vacant, blighted building after another in the city of 7,700 along the Monongahela River.
That belongs to me, he said, pointing to a house with a collapsing roof that has become the responsibility of the city and the mayor.
Tax records show the building is one of 264 structures and lots in the city that have been abandoned by their owners. More than 26 percent of the city's 734 blighted properties are owned by people from 24 states and five foreign countries, beyond the legal reach of Monessen officials.
It's almost impossible to get in touch with these owners, Mavrakis said.
While the Legislature is considering a bill to tighten accountability of absentee property owners, cities such as Monessen are left to deal with hundreds of unmarketable, nontaxable eyesores.
The foreign owners owed more than $11,500 in back taxes until the properties were placed in a repository, county tax records show.
When an owner stops paying taxes, their property is put up for tax sale. If no one bids on it, the parcel is placed in a county repository and is no longer subject to property taxes. If it remains unsold, ownership eventually goes to the municipality.
(Excerpt) Read more at triblive.com ...
There you have it: Urban blight is now the fault of foreigners and absentee property owners who buy depressed property, often tax liens, and eventually figure out they've been duped. They refuse to keep throwing good money after bad.
The location of Monessen, PA isn't bad-- it is within commuting distance of Pittsburgh or booming Washington, PA and across the river from Donora, hometown of Stan Musial.
But nobody wants to live there except Obama voters and drug addicts. But I repeat myself.
Needless to say, it is the anus of our otherwise pleasant county, where Obama barely managed to garner one in three votes in 2012. Of course, in Monessen, he garnered more than four in five. Pity the one in five who can't afford to move out.
But it is not the fault of the moronic voters or the grifters who run the place. It is the fault of "foreigners" duped into buying tax liens who refuse to stop throwing good money after bad.
I loved my time in the Burgh, actually Robinson / Moon. Monessen sounds like a place where Barry would get 6 out of 5 votes. I think it happened in Pittsburgh.
PS - Love the Washington area.
There's a hard lesson in here somewhere for those who are willing to learn.
Arnold is merely the armpit.
It is an old union steel making town. Still have the union Democrat mentality.
It is also 83% white so this mentality is not just among Holders’ people.
It may not be the fault of “foreigners” but I don’t believe it is unreasonable for people who own property to pay the taxes on it. And keep it up so it doesn’t become a rat-infested eyesore.
Take Zion’s abandoned glass plant in Jeannette. Please. The guy shows up with lawyers and promises every time the city tries to do anything to clean up the old plant. They come to an agreement where he promises to clean it up.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
It has to end somewhere.
Yep. I bet there are still people in Monessen who believe the steel mills will come back and all of those great high-paying union jobs will return as well, if ONLY we would elect the RIGHT politician.
This is one case where Detroit actually had a good idea.
Bulldoze the blight, and return it to nature to clean up.
The plants that grow there will uptake a lot of the pollution, then they can be removed and disposed of safely, before other plants are allowed to take over.
Eventually, large tracts of empty land can be sold off for development, the bigger the tract, the more profitable.
Zion's people are well aware of what they have, what they are dumping and why. Entirely a different case from the Monessen "investors" who bought something on eBay or a tax lien sale and never realized a penny of profit. Monessen ought to be happy that they got the limited tax revenue they did.
There's a reason why nobody local will sink a dime into these Monessen properties and they have to resort to eBay or tax lien sales to get anything for them.
Another reason, not often mentioned, is that Fedzilla (IRS, DEA, etc.) can claim a lien on properties associated with drug activity, unpaid federal income taxes and the like. So if anybody were foolish enough to rehab the property for an apartment house or the like, it could be taken from them just when it turns from a money pit into a revenue stream.
Westmoreland County is blessed with reasonably good governance, especially compared with what we used to have. Our election board now sends outsiders to places like Monessen which seriously cuts into the fraud they commit.
Caveat emptor, right? I don’t have sympathy for anyone who bought property sight-unseen off of the internet and then doesn’t want to pay taxes on it or keep it up.
You are right. But I have even less sympathy for someone who sold a liability as an asset and expects their buyer, once duped, to be a continuous revenue stream.
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