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City of Milwaukee votes to fast track tax foreclosures

City of Milwaukee will now be able to fast-track the tax foreclosure process on vacant and abandoned homes.

Alderman Robert Bauman, the primary sponsor of the legislation, said the city needs the authority to seize abandoned homes before they become targets for theft, crime and blight. The file was adopted by the Council after it was pulled from committee today by Alderman Bauman.

“The policy of the Treasurer's Office to wait three years to begin In Rem foreclosure proceedings (for unpaid property taxes) against the owners of vacant or abandoned buildings led to homes being stripped of windows and fixtures, plumbing and electrical systems, and devastating vandalism,” Alderman Bauman said.

“When we lose these properties to vandalism or damage caused by water and weather (leaky roofing, open and missing windows, etc.), we are losing our tax base and creating vacant lots that may not be redeveloped for a full generation,” he said.

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