MIDWEST OFFICES: Class Action Due Process Challenge to Tax Foreclosures in Wayne County, Michigan
The Coalition to End Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosures and Sugar Law are seeking to file a class action lawsuit in Wayne County, MI challenging the unconstitutional practice of mailing property tax assessment notices after the deadline to file an appeal with the Board of Assessors. From 2011-2015, the Wayne County treasurer foreclosed on approximately 100,000 Detroit properties for unpaid property taxes. The City of Detroit has been over-assessing its residents in violation of the Michigan Constitution, but claims that they are providing an opportunity for residents to appeal and correct these assessments.
 
However, by mailing a late assessment notice, residents are unable to file an appeal with the Board of Assessors. An appeal decision from the Board of Assessors may be appealed to the Board of Review, which is the only avenue to gain jurisdiction for the Michigan Tax Tribunal to hear further appeal. The assessment notices provided by the City of Detroit are inadequate as they misinform taxpayers as to their rights should they miss that initial stage of review. The taxpayers who received the property tax assessments after the Assessors’ Review period have a cognizable due process claim.
 
The Coalition to End Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosures is looking for a firm to co-counsel on this matter. We are unable to take this on, but we have a partner who worked with LDF on a related issue who is happy to speak with interested attorneys to discuss.