Michigan Man Underpaid His Property Taxes By $8.41. County Seized Property, Sold It- kept profiti

Discussion in 'Politics' started by EC, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. EC

    EC 12 pointer

    Jul 13, 2003
    Louisville, KY.
    This is why property taxes are evil. Especially if a person is elderly. If I'm ever Governor (and I don't expect to be), this is the first thing I'm going after.

    Damn thugs and tyrants. I would have paid it myself if I worked at this property office.


    A Michigan Man Underpaid His Property Taxes By $8.41. The County Seized His Property, Sold It—and Kept the Profits.
    A state law allows counties to effectively steal homes over unpaid taxes and keep the excess revenue for their own budgets.
    Eric Boehm | 11.6.2019 7:40 AM

    (Robin Nelson/ZUMA Press/Newscom)
    An 83-year-old retired engineer in Michigan underpaid his property taxes by $8.41. In response, Oakland County seized his property, auctioned it off to settle the debt, and pocketed nearly $24,500 in excess revenue from the sale.

    Under Michigan law, it was all legal. And hardly uncommon.

    Uri Rafaeli, who lost his property and all the equity associated with it, is just one of thousands of people to be victimized by Michigan's uniquely aggressive property tax statute. The law, passed in 1999 in an attempt to accelerate the rehabilitation of abandoned properties, empowers county treasurers to act as debt collectors. In the process, it creates a perverse incentive by allowing treasurers' offices to retain excess revenue raised by seizing and selling properties with delinquent taxes—even when the amount owed is miniscule, and even when the homes aren't abandoned or blighted at all.

    Organizations representing property owners like Rafaeli say the practice is unconstitutional, inequitable, and unreasonably harsh. They call it "home equity theft"—a process that's a close relative to the civil asset forfeiture laws that have been used by police departments to similarly deprive innocent Americans of their property without due process. They are now asking the state Supreme Court to restrict the practice.

    "Michigan is currently stealing from people across the state," says Christina Martin, an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation, a nonprofit law firm now representing Rafaeli and other homeowners in a class-action lawsuit that will go before the Michigan Supreme Court in early November.

    "Counties have been authorized to take not just what they are owed, but to take people's life savings."

    A Win-Win Situation
    Rafaeli's case—which has the potential to stop the predatory behavior of county treasurers across the state—began with a simple mistake.

    Uri Rafaeli
    Photo courtesy Pacific Legal Foundation
    In August 2011, Rafaeli purchased a three-bedroom, 1,500-square-foot home in the predominantly African American community of Southfield, Michigan, a lower-middle-class suburb just north of Detroit. "The investment was good to the state economy, and [at] the same time, it may produce a good rent for my retirement. A 'win-win' situation," says Rafaeli, who lived in neighboring Macomb County at the time. (He no longer lives in Michigan.)

    The $60,000 purchase was recorded by the Oakland County Register of Deeds on January 6, 2012. About six months later, in June 2012, Rafaeli was notified that he had underpaid his 2011 property tax bill by $496. Rafaeli made subsequent property tax payments on time and in full—and, in January 2013, he attempted to settle the unpaid tax debt, according to court documents.

    But he made a mistake in calculating the interest owed, resulting in another underpayment of $8.41.

    More: https://reason.com/2019/11/06/a-mic...ed-his-property-sold-it-and-kept-the-profits/
  2. wv67

    wv67 12 pointer

    Dec 19, 2017
    Southern wva
    Someone would die , I promise
    EC likes this.
  3. I’d like to see pictures of the thieving, low life SOBs posing as county officials lol. Bet I can give you a pretty good general description. Like I’ve always said a majority of those who don’t will elect representatives that will use property tax forfeiture laws to steal from those who do. Here’s a perfect example.
    JR in KY likes this.
  4. Duster

    Duster 12 pointer

    Why was it up to the guy to figure out the taxes owed ? Looks like the state would do that and let him know he was a few $ short. I just paid our property taxes and watch the clerk add all the tax bill's up three times double checking the check I hand her was for the correct amount.
  5. wv67

    wv67 12 pointer

    Dec 19, 2017
    Southern wva
    It only happens to white Americans that’s my answer for everything g for now on
    JR in KY likes this.

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