Forget the Family Homestead in Milwaukee, WI... if you are black and brown.
Have you heard about the City of Milwaukee's tax foreclosure? It's called In Rem Tax Foreclosure and it is devastating to hundreds of black and brown families in Milwaukee.
In Rem Tax Foreclosure is a legal proceeding where the City of Milwaukee uses its city attorney to take your property as the result of your failure to pay taxes. Failure to pay taxes can be partial or full; and, can be from one or several years. Under ch. 75.512, Wisconsin Statutes, the City has the authority to commence an action to foreclose a tax lien. But this legal action is taken against the property rather than a specific person which results in fewer constitutional protection for the citizen. The tax foreclosures are done in bulk, and filed in court under as a "List of Tax Liens for .... (year), Number ....".
Often times, families find themselves blind sided with the loss of their property. Further, this masked procedure has resulted in a disproportionate extraction of property from the hands of blacks and browns constituents.
In May 2019, the City of Milwaukee filed another mass foreclosure action against approximately 400 city residents for failure to pay property taxes. Some individuals owed the city as little as $196.10... but yet still lost ownership of their property.
To add insult to injury, in order to initiate the process of getting your property back the city requires the payment of a non-refundable administrative fee of $1,370. Hence, if you owed just $196.10 in back taxes, you will have to pay the city a total of $1,566.10 in order to get your property back.