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      New tool to help Syracuse fight tax delinquent property owners

      751 North Salina Street.

      It's not exactly the most inviting building in the city of Syracuse.

      "There's this one time we heard this huge, loud thump and kind of like -- the building shook, and it turns out the toilet on the second floor fell through the building,â?? said Briana Kohlbrenner, who owns Craft Chemistry next door.

      Abandoned and falling apart, it's an empty storefront turning heads in Syracuse's Little Italy neighborhood.

      â??I think it gives people the impression that there's nothing going on the block. The more vacant buildings that there are around, the less likely they are to venture into the area,â?? Kohlbrenner said.

      Property records in Onondaga County indicate the owner of the building, who lives in Texas, has not paid taxes since 2006 and currently owes nearly $14,000.

      Now -- the city of Syracuse has a tool to go after these property owners.

      Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed off on a land bank for Syracuse and Onondaga County.

      It's a non-profit entity, with the sole purpose of forcing property owners to pay back taxes or lose their building.

      "What's exciting is that we now have a community-wide tool address these very localized problems,â?? said Dominic Robinson, who leads Northside UP, an affiliate of Centerstate CEO working to rid Syracuseâ??s North Side of abandoned buildings.

      This is not to say the city of Syracuse could not have addressed this problem on its own.

      The city has the power to foreclose on tax delinquent properties, but does not like to do so unless it has a buyer lined up.

      This not-for-profit land bank shoulders that liability.

      What do you think about this land bank idea? Are there vacant buildings near you that youâ??re tired of looking at?