June 4, 2023

By MARK SHERMAN | Related Press

WASHINGTON  — A unanimous Supreme Court docket on Thursday gave a 94-year-old Minneapolis lady a brand new likelihood to recoup some cash after the county saved the whole $40,000 when it bought her condominium over a small unpaid tax invoice.

The justices dominated that Hennepin County, Minnesota violated the constitutional rights of the lady, Geraldine Tyler, by taking her property with out paying “simply compensation.”

“The County had the ability to promote Tyler’s dwelling to get better the unpaid property taxes. However it couldn’t use the toehold of the tax debt to confiscate extra property than was due,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court docket.

Tyler, who now lives in an house constructing for older individuals, owed $2,300 in unpaid taxes, plus curiosity and penalties totaling $15,000, when the county took title to the one-bedroom house in 2015. The county stated she did nothing to carry onto her one-time residence. The house bought the subsequent yr.

Minnesota is amongst roughly a dozen states and the District of Columbia that permit native jurisdictions to maintain the surplus cash, in response to the Pacific Authorized Basis, a not-for-profit public curiosity legislation agency targeted on property rights that represented Tyler on the Supreme Court docket.

Not less than 8,950 properties have been bought due to unpaid taxes and the previous homeowners acquired little or nothing in these states between 2014 and 2021, in response to Pacific Authorized.

The opposite states are: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and South Dakota, the group stated.