LANSING — Sen. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit) has introduced legislation to allow Michigan residents to challenge tax foreclosures in state courts, rather than the Michigan Tax Tribunal, if there is an alleged violation of federal civil rights law.
Senate Bill 778 would require Michigan courts to hear federal civil rights cases, related to issues such as the Federal Fair Housing Act, for example, in order to provide more clarity to an otherwise confusing interpretation of the law.
“For years, Detroit residents have been targeted for unfair foreclosures and tax assessments,” Sen. Santana said. “Over the past decade, many families have been left homeless or struggling. It’s simple: We must have a process in place for Michigan families and their grievances if they fear they are being unlawfully targeted.”
The Detroit News reported last month that Detroit homeowners are still recovering from being overtaxed by $600 million between 2010 and 2016. According to the News, the process to appeal tax assessments is difficult to navigate and many owners are not even aware of the option.
Sen. Santana represents the 3rd Senate District in Wayne County that includes the cities of Dearborn, Detroit and Melvindale.
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