Current Campaign: Abolish the Tax Lien Sale

In January 2021, in response to advocacy the Abolish the NYC Tax Lien Sale Coalition, the NYC City Council passed legislation charting the course for ending New York City’s tax lien sale (Local Law 24 of 2021). The bill permits the fewest liens to be sold on small homes in the history of the lien sale. Read details here.

Local Law 24 also required the Mayor and Speaker of the City Council to appoint a Task Force to study and publicly present a replacement system of debt collection for NYC. The task force, to include community and advocacy groups, must study the potential “transfer of properties with delinquent property taxes, sewer and water rents subject to a lien to community land trusts, land banks, mutual housing associations or other similar entities.” Debra Ack, board member of the East New York Community Land Trust and co-founding member of the Abolish the NYC Tax Lien Sale Coalition has been appointed by the Speaker, and TakeRoot serves as her support staff.

Click to see Community Land Trusts as a Strategy for Tax Delinquency as presented to the task force on July 6, 2021.

Read a report in support of the campaign here: Commodifying our Communities: The case for abolishing NYC’s tax lien sale and prioritizing community land trusts in a new tax collection and property disposition system (December 2020).

The Coalition was initiated in summer 2020 by the East New York CLT Initiative. TakeRoot is a member and its counsel.


Testimony to the NYC Council Committee on Finance on Tax Lien Sale Reauthorization (December 9, 2020): TakeRoot called on the City Council to abolish the lien sale and expand the pipeline of properties headed for transformation to social housing and community ownership.

Testimony to the NYC City Council Oversight Hearing: Examining the City’s Deed Theft and Deed Fraud Crisis (October 13, 2020): TakeRoot testified to connect the dots between the deed fraud crisis and the NYC Tax Lien Sale.

Selected Press

NYS Focus: Tenants Suffer As City Sells Landlords’ Tax Debt to Speculators | Oct. 15, 2021

BK Reader: A Tax Lien Sale Is Happening in Dec and BK Organizers Are Rushing to Support Homeowners | Sept. 13, 2021

Kings County Politics: Tax Lien Sale Bill Asks for Reform Taskforce | Feb. 3, 2021

Politico: Council rankles de Blasio administration after pulling tax lien bill | Dec. 21, 2020

The City: Council Considers Killing the Tax-Collection Machine Rudy Giuliani Built | Oct. 22, 2020

Bklyner: Activists And Lawmakers Call To Abolish City’s Tax Lien Sale | Oct. 14, 2020