Black families on average are paying 13 percent more in property taxes each year compared to the rest of the nation. The reason for this is that Black-owned homes are assessed at higher values despite their actual lower sales prices!
Many Black Americans call this the “Black Tax,” a term that lumps all racist and systemic actions against us as a result of being victims of systemic Black hatred. This tax is right in line with how we’ve historically been treated.
During the Jim Crow era, white officials would manipulate property tax assessments, punishing Black populations and rewarding white landowners. And many home assessors overvalued Black properties often in retaliation to local collective Black political action. But what can we do to fight back against this system?
One of the greatest tools we have is accountability. A majority of Black homeowners are stuck with high property taxes with seemingly no way out. However, we can appeal our property assessments and win these appeals to get lower taxes. Holding the system accountable in this way can help us keep our homes.
Unfair property taxes are a historical inequity that attacks our community to this day. Holding the system accountable can be the greatest tool we have in retaining our homes and creating wealth for generations to come.