Tax database search change sparks debate
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ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- A change in how people can access Onondaga County's property tax database has sparked a debate over balancing privacy and safety.
On Monday, County Executive Joanie Mahoney changed the way you can search the property tax rolls on the county's website. Previously, you could search by name, but now you can only search by address.
Mahoney says she made the change to protect police officers and other public officials whose home addresses could be discovered by people looking to harm them. But many people are opposed to the change, like realtors and groups who target slum lords.
Now, Mahoney is searching for a solution that would work for everyone.
"We're considering an opt in and opt out solution, I'm open to other suggestions if people have them, but the opt out would put all of the information back online, then let people sign up as if it is a do not call registry and take their own information off, and the opt in would be something like the MLS system that realtors use where they have a user name to access the information," said Mahoney.
Mahoney says the changes are a work in progress, but she hopes to finalize them as soon as possible.