Schenectady County

Back taxes catch up with prominent Schenectady landlord

A man who was once one of Schenectady's most prominent landlords has been forced to give up many of

A man who was once one of the city’s most prominent landlords has been forced to give up many of his houses to pay off years of back taxes.

It turns out that Craig Alsdorf, who led the Schenectady Rental Property Owners Association from 1999 to 2004, was not paying taxes on some of his properties even as he lobbied the City Council to make laws favorable to landlords and criticized the city for regulating landlords too harshly.

The city was never able to make him pay up. But he has now sold three of his rental properties to pay off tax bills and lost three others to foreclosure last week. The proceedings were one of American Tax Funding’s first major actions in Schenectady, where it has rarely had to foreclose because so many owners have been willing to pay when the private tax-collection company comes knocking.

Alsdorf tried ATF’s much-lauded payment plans, but he owed significant mortgages and more than $84,000 in back taxes on seven properties alone, according to ATF. He wound up selling many properties to pay off the debts.

“He has been fairly active in selling,” ATF Vice President Neil Harreveld said. “He sold 866 Central Parkway and paid us off in full after we started a foreclosure to get it going.”

Alsdorf had owed $25,000 on that property, Harreveld said.

He also sold 19 Close St. and 9 Sheldon St. Last week, three other properties were taken in foreclosure: 101 Prospect St., 1015-1017 2nd Ave. and 658-660 Crane St.

After the sales and the foreclosures, Alsdorf owes just $84 in back taxes on one of his rental properties. He is also now paying taxes on his remaining rental property on time, according to city tax records.

Mayor Brian U. Stratton said he was pleased that ATF had managed to turn a longtime delinquent landlord into a taxpayer, something the city had never managed to do.

“The reason why working with ATF continues to be an effective tool for us is they’re somehow able to get these people to pay,” Stratton said. “They’ve got the power of a true collection company to go after the big offenders, the people who could pay their taxes and don’t.”

He said the liquidation of Alsdorf’s holdings made perfect sense, suggesting that Alsdorf simply took on more than he could afford.

Alsdorf could not be reached for comment. His many companies’ phones have been disconnected.

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