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Tag: Wayside Church

January 04, 2019

Former homeowner fights Gratiot County’s theft of home

In 2017, officials in Gratiot County, Michigan, seized Donald Freed's $97,000 home to pay an overdue tax debt of $1,100. The county sold his property at auction for $42,000 and kept all of the proceeds from the sale. Shockingly Michigan’s property tax law requires this all-too-common practice. It's a nice racket for the county, which ...

October 27, 2017

When does a $8.41 tax bill cost you $24,215?

In January 2013, Uri Rafaeli's business—Rafaeli, LLC—tried to pay the overdue taxes for a modest rental home in Southfield, Michigan.  Rafaeli miscalculated the interest due for the delinquent 2011 taxes and underpaid by $8.41. A year later, Oakland County foreclosed on the property. The County then auctioned the property for $24,500 and kept ...

August 17, 2017

Groups ask Supreme Court to grant PLF’s petition in Wayside Church v. Van Buren County

This week several groups filed "friend of the court" briefs supporting PLF's Supreme Court petition in Wayside Church v. Van Buren County. Two of the amicus briefs—one by AARP and the other by the Buckeye Institute—focus on the need for the Court to review Michigan's unjust tax foreclosure law. Under this unjust and unconstitutional law, Van ...

August 01, 2017

Michigan turns foreclosure into a government self-enrichment machine

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 ...

July 13, 2017

PLF asks Supreme Court to stop Michigan from stealing

When Wayside Church fell behind on its 2011 property taxes on a parcel that the church had used as a youth camp, Van Buren County took the youth camp property and sold it for $206,000 to pay the church's $16,750 in taxes, penalties, interest, and fees. The County kept the surplus proceeds—$189,250 more than the ...

February 28, 2017

Michigan exploiting property owners’ hardships to enrich government

This week, PLF filed a petition asking the full Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear the takings case of Wayside Church, Henderson Hodgens, and Myron Stahl. All three lost their property to Van Buren County after they fell behind on their 2011 taxes. The County foreclosed on their properties and sold each for significantly ...

February 10, 2017

Sixth Circuit slams the courthouse doors to takings case

The Sixth Circuit today dismissed Wayside Church v. Van Buren County, a case challenging Michigan’s unconstitutional tax foreclosure scheme. Judge Kethledge who dissented from the panel’s decision, summed up the case this way: In this case the defendant Van Buren County took property worth $206,000 to satisfy a $16,750 debt, and then r ...

August 05, 2016

Michigan county confiscates private property over $8 in late taxes

Does the Constitution protect you from the government taking your equity in your home, land, or business? That's the question Andrew Ohanessian and Rafaeli,LLC are asking the Michigan Court of Appeals in Rafaeli v. Oakland County. Rafaeli owed the County $8 for overdue taxes, which amassed to $285 in taxes, interest, and fees when the ...

May 31, 2016

Michigan counties confiscating property rights

In Michigan, when landowners fail to pay their property taxes, local governments take the property, sell it, and keep all the profits—no matter how small the debt or how valuable the property. As a result, local governments are profiting handsomely over the misfortune of their residents. For example, a few years ago, Wayside Church lost ...

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