July 13, 2017

Michigan exploits minor tax debts as an excuse for taking

By Michigan exploits minor tax debts as an excuse for taking

PLF’s Director of Communications Harold Johnson hosts a discussion with PLF Attorney Christina Martin and Reginald Hill, a Church Deacon at Wayside Church. Several small property owners, including Reginald, are turning to the Supreme Court for help after they were victimized by Michigan’s abusive foreclosure law.

Their appeal—a petition for certiorari — asks the justices to review and strike down the Michigan General Property Tax Act, which allows local government to sell people’s property for delinquent taxes, and hoard any extra profits for itself.

learn more about

Wayside Church v. Van Buren County, Michigan

When Michigan property owners fall behind on their taxes, the state allows counties to seize and sell the land, and keep all sale proceeds–no matter how small the tax debt or how valuable the property. Van Buren County reaped a major windfall after selling three properties with relatively small tax debts, including a church. PLF believes local governments violate the Takings Clause of the Constitution when they keep the surplus, and has asked for Supreme Court review.

Read more

What to read next