Hot Topics and Issues

Property Tax Resolution

Property taxes are used to improve and support communities. Many African American communities have paid higher effective rates with fewer benefits.

High property taxes have resulted in the loss of homes.

Exorbitant tax rates have economically and physically decimated communities of color.

High disparate property taxation lowers the market value of homes.

Most of African American wealth exists in homeownership. High taxes affect sales resulting in lower market values.

Overall average real wealth is negatively affected by disproportionately high tax rates.

Research has exposed unequal property tax assessments nationwide. From small townships to large metropolitan areas, high disparate property tax rates and property tax assessments exist in regions that include a majority African American population. Indeed, some communities have experienced disparately high taxation rates for 70 years.

Over-assessment and over-taxation of homes in neighborhoods and communities defined as primarily African American is an insidious and pernicious exhibition of systemic racism.

Property tax, over-taxation of African American neighborhoods, must cease and in appropriate cases, monies returned to homeowners.

Tax solutions:

  1. Acknowledgment that housing discrimination has been a problem in America and is illegal. Unfair property taxation to minority homeowners is housing discrimination. The idea is unfair property taxation is a Title VIII violation
  2. Based on the unfair taxation, current property owners should be given a credit for at least 5 years on their current taxes to compensate for unfair taxation.
    A formula for credit to be determined based on parameters used to determine the amount paid.
  3. Based on unfair taxation, property owners could apply for a certificate of error. The certificate of error would go back 20 years. Payment could be reimbursed or credited on future tax bills.
  4. As for past homeowners, I think it would be hard to provide them restitution but perhaps a fund could be made giving them an opportunity to claim perhaps a $1000 to recognize the fact that they had been subjected to discrimination.

Disparity in property tax assessments

The Tax Divide -AN UNFAIR BURDEN 1 of 3

The Tax Divide -AN UNFAIR BURDEN 2 of 3

The Tax Divide -AN UNFAIR BURDEN 3 of 3

Also, the ABA Journal’s report on Sessions is informative.

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