• November 26, 2010

Attorney David L. Wilson, in conjunction with the University of Minnesota Law School clinic, has launched a putative class action in Hennepin County District Court alleging that the City of Minneapolis has unfairly imposed its property tax burden on poorer North Minneapolis neighborhoods, as compared with the more privileged Southern half of the city.

Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal is reported by the Star Tribune as having said that the lawsuit “reflects a lack of understanding of the property tax system and the relevant law in this area.”

Key vulnerabilities in plaintiffs’ case: (1) each has an individual right to challenge his or her property valuation and tax assessment and, closely related, (2) it seems difficult to treat individual property tax assessments on a class wide basis. ¬†On the other hand, plaintiffs claim to have collected data reflecting a pervasive and systemic practice, pointing to a city map showing blue dots, houses assessed at below 90% of their recent selling price, green dots, 90-110%, yellow is 111-150%, orange is 151-200%, and red is 201-300%.

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