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Lein sales a quick fix with dire consequences

Over several months, Tom Meagher of the Herald News examined the records of a bulk sale of property tax liens that the city of Paterson, N.J., conducted to raise the revenue needed to balance its budget. While this resulted in a quick influx of cash for the city, the short-sighted plan cost the city millions in potential revenue and handed over control of hundreds of pieces valuable land to an independent developer. The developer has, in turn, begun to sell the lots for as much as 60 times what they used to pay - including non-profits intending to build affordable housing in the area Included with the story is an interactive map showing the properties described in the story.

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