A bill that would eliminate a proposed 5% transaction cost surcharge - a stumbling block in the securitization of delinquent property tax liens - could mean more tax lien-backed deals coming from the Empire State if the plan gets past the state legislature.

Angela Berti, a spokeswoman for the proponent, Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, said that dropping the surcharge brings the proposal in line with the companion bill in the State Senate.

Joel Cooper, managing director at Le Percq Financial Advisors, and consultant on the proposal, said this is the third year this measure is being forwarded. Hopefully, "the third time's the charm," he said, adding the Assembly should by now be familiar with the plan.

Cooper stressed the real beneficiaries of this securitization plan are the local communities interested in securitizing outstanding tax rolls.

Under the measure, the New York State Municipal Bond Bank Agency would be authorized to purchase the tax liens itself or create new entities for this purpose and to issue obligations secured by such liens. This agency or special purpose entity would be empowered to hire private collection agencies to assist in securing payment of the amounts due. - David Feldheim

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