August 1, 2017

Michigan turns foreclosure into a government self-enrichment machine

By Christina M. Martin Attorney

Today, National Review published my article discussing, Wayside Church v. Van Buren County, PLF’s case challenging legalized theft in Michigan. Michigan’s unjust property tax law allows local governments to steal from people who fall behind on their property taxes. As I explain in the article,

Can the government take your home and all your equity in it if you fall behind on your property taxes or — like many people in Flint, Mich. — refuse to pay your water bill? The state of Michigan and a handful of other states think so. These states’ odd tax laws allow counties to take and sell tax-delinquent properties and keep all the profits from the sale — no matter how small the tax debt or how valuable the property.

We filed a petition earlier this month asking the Supreme Court to hear this case and bring justice to our clients. If the Court grants review, it will have the opportunity to halt this unjust practice in Michigan and elsewhere.

Read more at National Review.

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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.

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