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Government can’t exploit minor tax debts as an excuse for a taking

Wayside Church v. Van Buren County


Contact: Christina M. Martin

Status: A petition for rehearing en banc was filed with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on February 24, 2017.


Summary:
After Wayside Church fell behind on its property takes, Van Buren County took the church’s property and sold it for $206,000 to pay $16,750 in taxes, penalties, interest, and fees.  The County kept the surplus proceeds — $189,250 — as profit, pursuant to the Michigan’s Michigan General Property Tax Act.  This case asks the federal courts to hold that government effects a taking in violation of the Fifth Amendment when it takes valuable property to pay often minor tax debts, and pockets the excess proceeds from their sale.

 

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