An event this weekend will include a press conference and a discussion forum on tax foreclosures, and to demand that Wayne County and Mayor Mike Duggan help keep families in homes.
The group sponsoring the event is called the Coalition to End Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosures, and they want to draw attention to what they call "massive, unconstitutional property tax foreclosure."
Tax foreclosure has been in the news a lot lately, and not just because of the tax foreclosure redemption deadline, which passed on June 7. Plus, as a recent piece in Bridge magazine
pointed out, Wayne County appears to be balancing its budget on the backs of the foreclosed-upon. Many of the houses to be foreclosed upon have renters living in them, many of whom aren't even aware that their shelter is at risk because their landlords haven't paid their taxes.
Hence organizers have scheduled a forum for this Saturday to bring together Detroiters threatened and affected by tax foreclosure. The group says that the Wayne County Treasurer "has taken almost a quarter of Detroit properties from their owners because of nonpayment of property taxes."
They object to what they call an unrealistically high assessed value of property and the resulting inflated tax bills, saying they violated the Michigan Constitution, which states that no property tax should be assessed at more than 50 percent of a property’s market value.
"Between 2009-2015, the City of Detroit assessed 55-to-85 percent of properties at values that violated the Michigan Constitution," organizers say. "This resulted in more than 100,000 families having their homes taken by Wayne County authorities."
The forum will provide more information about the unconstitutional property tax assessments, and the opportunity for residents who lost their homes to outline their demands for justice.
A press conference begins at 12:30 p.m. and a people's forum runs from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 17, at Partrich Auditorium, Wayne State University Law School, 471 W. Palmer St., Detroit; free parking in Lot 32 in front of the Law School. For more information, see act.progressmichigan.org, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.