Attempt to Halt Detroit-Area Tax Foreclosures Fails
A judge in Michigan’s Wayne County has denied a motion by the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to halt tax foreclosures on local residential properties, arguing that such an action would be deleterious to the financial well-being of school districts and municipal governments.
According to a Detroit News report, the ACLU argued that a mass wave of foreclosures would have “a gross disparate impact on people of color” and that many impacted homeowners are already enrolled in a tax assistance program but are struggling to meet current and back taxes. But Judge Robert Colombo Jr. turned down the ACLU request by stating the county could not afford to let the situation deteriorate further.
“What are we to do if people do not pay their taxes?” the judge asked. “The problem becomes bigger. City governments have to provide services such as police and fire.”
However, Colombo denied a motion by the city of Detroit seeking to dismiss a lawsuit filed against that permits homeowners seeking “poverty exemption” status for tax payments to reapply for the designation.
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