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A unanimous Supreme Court on Thursday dealt a massive blow to a practice that is common around the nation – governments taking a property for unpaid taxes, selling it, and keeping ALL the proceeds.
That offends, the court ruled, the Takings Clause of the United States Constitution.
The fight at hand involved a condominium formerly owned by Geraldine Tyler in Hennepin County, Minnesota, but the same facts have played out over and over across the nation in recent years. In fact, some state laws authorized this specific action.
In this case, Tyler owed about $15,000 in unpaid taxes and penalties, so the county “seized the condo and sold it for $40,000, keeping the $25,000 excess over Tyler’s tax debt for itself,” the court said.She sued, charge the county unconstitutionally retained the excess value of her home in violation of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment and the Excessive Fines Clause of […]
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