October 10, 2023 — Issue Brief

As homeowners struggle to recover from the pandemic and deal with soaring inflation, some risk losing their homes to a strict and often rapid tax lien foreclosure process. As many as 8.5 million homeowners could become delinquent on their property taxes in 2023. The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in Tyler v. Hennepin County that it is unconstitutional for a local government to take a home in a property tax foreclosure and keep the homeowner’s equity after the tax debt and costs are paid. Many states and localities will now need to take a close look at their tax foreclosure laws to make sure that they comply with Tyler. When they do, they should revise the laws to protect homeowners from unnecessary tax foreclosures and to preserve equity in their homes. Property tax systems can be fair and affordable for homeowners while still providing the revenue needed for quality public services.