City working to spend less tax dollars on abandoned homes - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

City working to spend less tax dollars on abandoned homes

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Cleaning up abandoned homes for less money: that's what the city of West Palm Beach hopes to get one step closer to doing Monday.

The city spends tens of thousands of tax-payer dollars each year to mow lawns, board up windows and remove trash from abandoned properties.

Until now, the city would generally place a lien on the home or building for the amount it costs to clean it up.

On Monday, commissioners will get their first look at the updated list of properties the city has helped -- to begin the process of tacking the costs onto the owner's property tax bills instead.

"They should be boarding up their properties; they should be cutting the grass; they should be cleaning up the garbage. If they're not doing it, we're doing it because it's a quality of life concern of ours. If we're doing it, the property owners still have to pay for it," said city spokesperson Elliot Cohen.

The city hopes the change will allow for quicker and more reliable reimbursement.

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