Bernadette Atuahene, "Predatory Cities"
Bernadette Atuahene, Chicago-Kent College of Law / Coalition to End Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosures
Between 2011 and 2015, the Wayne County treasurer completed the property tax foreclosure process for one in four Detroit properties. No American city has experienced this elevated rate of property tax foreclosures since the Great Depression. Between 2009 and 2015, the City of Detroit assessed 55 to 85 percent of its residential properties in violation of the Michigan Constitution, which states no property should be assessed at more than 50 percent of its market value, calling into question the legitimacy of the City's extraordinary tax foreclosure rates. Consequently, Detroit has become a predatory city—a city where public officials systematically take property from residents and transfer it to public coffers—joining such cities as Ferguson, Missouri; New Orleans, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; and many others.
This event is hosted by the Taubman College Doctoral Studies Program in Architecture.