DETROIT – A class action lawsuit has been filed against the City of Detroit alleging it overtaxed residents in predominantly black areas, costing them $600 million.
The lawsuit also alleges that from 2010 to 2017, Detroit residents in these areas were overtaxed and overassessed, which resulted in the loss of homes for many of them.
“We need to make sure that we continue to coordinate our efforts to put focus on the actual residents that have experienced foreclosures,” said executive director of Detroit Action, Branden Snyder. “In order to keep people in their homes, we need to work on dismantling a system that does not prioritize our residents.”
Michigan’s constitution states that no property can be assessed at more than 50 percent of its market value. According to legal experts, the vast majority of these foreclosures are products of illegally inflated property taxes which violated the state’s constitution.
“Our people were wronged. Horribly wronged,” Detroit Action member, Donna Price said. “This lawsuit is one step in the right direction because our mayor doesn’t feel that there is a problem.”
Currently, 80 percent of Detroit’s population is African-American with 40 percent of the city’s residents living below the federal poverty line.
The lawsuit was discussed on this Sunday’s episode of Flashpoint.