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St. Pete offering lien amnesty program

in The Bay and the 'Burg by
St. Petersburg property owners with delinquent special assessment liens on their properties could receive relief through a new Special Assessments Lien Amnesty program.

There are hundreds of property owners who have outstanding liens, assessed generally for neglect of a private property that required the city to secure an unsafe structure, demolish a nuisance property or clear debris from private lots.

Through a new program adopted by City Council today, a property owner with an outstanding special assessment lien could pay the principal owed and the city would waive the amount owed in interest, which in some cases may be more than the original lien. For those who participate, this measure may save the property from the eventual threat of foreclosure for an outstanding lien.

Council Chair Leslie Curran proposed the new program at a recent Council meeting, and said, “We have hundreds of outstanding assessment liens that are a burden to the property owners, and to the surrounding neighborhoods. By clearing some of these liens, we can collect some revenue owed to the city, and open some parcels in our neighborhoods to new redevelopment opportunities.”

To qualify for the amnesty program, property owners must meet all criteria, submit an application and pay a $50 fee. The deadline to apply is May 31, 2010. Additional information and applications can be found at www.stpete.org/billing/lienamnesty.

“During these tough economic times, the city wants to work with property owners to clear unpaid liens and allow them to remove this burden, while at the same time enhance our neighborhoods and expedite the city’s ability to collect some revenue from overdue liens owed to the city,” said Mayor Bill Foster.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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