County Seizes & Sells Man’s Home Over $8.41 in Underpaid Property Taxes

83-year-old victimized by outrageous property tax statute

Image Credits: Public Domain / U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Teresa J. Cleveland.

An 83-year-old Michigan man has had his property seized and sold by Oakland County after he underpaid his property taxes by a measly $8.41.

Uri Rafaeli, a retired engineer, lost his home and all its equity after the county auctioned it off and kept the $24,500 revenue generated by the sale.

A 1999 property tax law allowing the county treasurer to collect debt is being blamed for the absurd confiscation.

Rafaeli is not the first victim of this poor statute, as thousands of Michiganders have had their property taken as well.

Private attorney Philip Ellison said, “It is simply government-sanctioned theft.”

However, groups like the Pacific Legal Foundation, a nonprofit law firm representing people like Uri in a class-action lawsuit, are fighting back against the seemingly unconstitutional law.

“Michigan is currently stealing from people across the state,” Christina Martin of the Pacific Legal Foundation told Reason.

The group is set to take the suit to the Michigan Supreme Court in early November.

For more details on this case, click here.

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