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The black neighborhoods of Kansas have been hit hard by property sales

Rosetta Dotson has done two jobs to pay off the tax owed on her Kansas City, Kansas City, home with her husband, Ricky. Then the epidemic hit, he lost his second job և Ricky got COVID-19.

The owners of the house continued to pay what they could for the taxes while waiting to talk to the judge about a new payment agreement. He later learned that his house had been auctioned off online.

“We just felt it was a scam, as if they were trying to take our property,” my husband said. “We think we were targeted, you know, because we live mostly in the Black Sea district. They did everything.” “so they could lose us at home,” he said.

The Dotsons are one of the most historic counties in Kansas City, Kansas City, who are at risk of losing their homes in the wake of the epidemic as illegal property sales resume as critics say racist government officials praise the revitalization of communities.

“It simply came to our notice then. And I do not use that word much, but that’s the only thing I mean, it’s classism and racism to deprive people of color or people of color who live in a certain part or have a foothold in a certain part. From Wyandot County, ”said state Sen. David Hale, a Democrat who tried to help some residents of his hometown keep their homes.

Officials from the Kansas City, Kansas City, Wyandot County, admit that the illegal parcels for sale are mostly in the Northwestern District. The county, with a population of about 165,000, about 23% white, 30% Latino և 40% white, typically sells 2,200 properties a year at its three tax auctions, far more than the other major states of Kansas.

Wyandotte County says it is auctioning off residential property as soon as the law allows, when taxes are three years behind schedule. It says the goal is to put property in “responsible hands” to improve the appearance of neighborhoods.

Most real estate is not auctioned off, և the county then gets it through Land Bank of Wyandota State, a state body that now owns about 3,500 properties. Almost all of them were acquired through tax evasion.

Catherine Carter, the local director of economic development, says the county decided to take a more proactive approach to paying property taxes about three years ago, using the land bank as a way to rebuild neighborhoods. At a virtual conference last year to talk about his success, he showed slides of now-renovated homes, attributed the project to rising property values, and the county tax base.

Critics say Vayandota has sold disproportionately large amounts of illegal taxes compared to the rest of the state, depriving residents of the hard-earned gains of communities that have been discriminated against for generations.

Wyandotte County, where 21% of the population lives in poverty, has entire blocks of illegal property in the city for future reconstruction. The owners of the displaced property are not receiving compensation, Hale said.

Carter says most of the property in the land bank has long since been abandoned. In the upcoming online illegal tax sales, 43% of the property is listed as vacant.

The practice comes against the backdrop of a wealthy white household’s wealth gap. The first step in wealth building is home ownership, says Chuck Collins, director of the Advanced Research Group’s Institute for Policy Studies’ Inequality and Common Good.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 72% of white Americans owned their own homes in 2017, up from just over 42% of these families.

“We are here at a time of epidemic when the racial impact of the epidemic was unequal. “It was disproportionately worn by black-and-brown people. There is a huge risk of evacuation and confiscation after the epidemic breaks when the various moratoriums are lifted,” Collins said. “So maybe it’s time not to pursue aggressive tax sales.”

The district commissioners of the two counties, who represent the districts affected by the sales, did not respond to an interview with The Associated Press.

In the case of the Dotsons, Haley noticed that their house was up for auction, and warned them. They went to pay the full $ 2,300 in illegal taxes on the day of the sale, but were told it was too late, says Rosetta Dotson.

Eventually, they returned home, paying back taxes, which they paid in cash to a real estate lawyer. The total is $ 5,200.

Hale successfully warned another black man, Karen Pitchford-Knox, that the house where he grew up was on the auction block this January. When Pittford-Knox’s mother died in 2016, he inherited the house, as well as more than $ 5,000 in illegal property tax. He agreed to his pay plan after losing his job.

Pitchford-Knox had about two weeks to pay, as he put it, “$ 1,000 to ask Peter, to borrow, to borrow, to steal.”

“I definitely feel that they are targeting the houses,” she said, noting that she knew three other women whose houses were on the auction list. “I feel like it’s like a black housewife or an old woman.”

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