Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Study Finds Black Families Pay 10% Higher Property Taxes than White Families

Washington Post, July 7, 2020.

A new working paper by economists Troup Howard of the University of Utah and Carlos Avenancio-León of Indiana University found that unfair property assessments lead to widespread overtaxation of black Americans’ homes. Their data analyzed more than a decade of tax assessment and sales data on 118 million homes across the US found that black families pay 13 percent more in property taxes each year than a white family in the same situation. The study showed that black-owned homes are assessed at higher values, compared to their actual sale price, than white homes.

In almost every US state, they found that property tax assessments were higher in areas with more black and Hispanics. The gap persists in differences in buildings or land but also in the racial composition of the neighborhood. The gap between white families and minority households (Hispanic and Black families) is 10 percent.

This represents an updated version of the Jim Crow era when "local white officials routinely manipulated property tax assessments to overburden and punish black populations and as a hidden tax break to landowning white gentry,” according to University of Virginia historian Andrew Kahrl.
This sometimes was done in direct retaliation for black political action. Kahrl found that in 1932 a black North Carolina resident was taxed for the value of two stray dogs that had been seen on her property.

In 1901, W.E.B. Du Bois showed that because of their unequal tax burden, black people paid more in taxes than they received in public education funds. The recently-released 2020 study stated that the absolute fiction that “black people take services but they don’t pay taxes” is widespread in the US.

Recently, the forces raising black tax bills are more subtle. The sale price of Black-owned homes tend to grow slower because the whites who are most of the home buyers tend to avoid black neighborhoods and thus eliminate many potential buyers. If an assessor assumes a black-owned home gains value as fast as a white-owned home, the assessed value of the black-owned home will exceed  its true market value. The black family annually pays more in property taxes, although the sales price is not increasing as much. The nearby white families benefit because their homes increase in value quicker than their assessments - producing an ever-growing tax break. In addition, the supposedly neutral appeals process also penalizes black wealth. While the property tax gaps are worst for low wage earners, even the highest-earning black Americans pay more on average in property taxes than similar white peers living nearby.

The authors noted that their data showed “you can equally tell the story that assessors don’t realize how unequally the burden is landing along racial and ethnic lines”

Read the Washington Post article. Read the study.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Virtual Discussion on Ending Systemic Racism in Law Enforcement with guests Marc Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League and Hilary Shelton, Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau. 
Monday, June 8, 2:00 p.m.

Maryland Senator Ben Cardin is holding this discussion as a call for justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and victims of police violence in black communities. It also is meant to strengthen  the urgent need for action to reform policing nationwide and eliminate racial profiling in the criminal justice system.

During the discussion, Senator Cardin will be taking questions from constituents via email and social media and will answer many of these. To send a question, send his office an email or comment on Facebook. Questioners are asked to please be respectful of all in the online community and keep questions and comments civil and relevant to the subject matter.

This conversation will stream live at Facebook.com/SenatorBenCardin. Can’t access Facebook? This conversation also will be streaming live on YouTube at YouTube.com/SenatorCardin.

Source: Email from Senator Cardin, June 4, 2020.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Dear NCRC members and allies,

It is difficult to focus on our important work for economic justice when our hearts are in the streets protesting police violence and the murder of Black people.

But it is the same systemic racism that segregated Black communities from White. The system of oppression is a vast machine and a big piece of it is the federal, state and local policies that defined where Black people could live.

How did that happen? Join us next Tuesday, June 9, at 1 pm ET for an online event with Richard Rothstein, author of the groundbreaking book on the history of redlining, “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America.”

This is another in our series of online events, Just Economy Sessions.
Register Now
Richard Rothstein is a Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute and a Senior Fellow (emeritus) at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The Color of Law covers a forgotten history of how federal, state and local policy explicitly segregated metropolitan areas nationwide, creating racially homogenous neighborhoods in patterns that violate the Constitution and require remediation.

Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you online next Tuesday.


Source: NCRC email, June 3, 2020

Wednesday, May 27, 2020



Event to be held at the following time, date, and location:

Saturday, June 27, 2020 from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM (EDT)

Zoom (Link to workshop will be emailed after purchase of workshop ticket.)
Baltimore, MD 21202

From wherever you are (VIA Zoom)

Attend Event

Too often we have conversations around or about privilege without having a mutual understanding of what it is and now it operates in our environment. because of this lack of knowledge we often unknowingly perpetuate harm. the unpacking privilege, unlocking power interactive workshop goes beyond the rhetoric and provides participants with useful tools for real-life application. The Unpacking Privilege, Unlocking Power interactive workshop goes beyond the rhetoric and provides participants with useful tools for real-life application.

This workshop will prepare participants by highlighting the ways in which we all enjoy privilege based on being members of social and personal identity groups. the goal of the workshop is to identify specific ways we can use our privilege to create a more just and caring world where each person is treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.

During this interactive workshop you will:
• Get clear definitions on identity terms and find out their correct use
• Leave more aware of individual privilege
• Have insight on how you can leverage your privilege to increase access and opportunity for others.
• Get insight into how to create more inclusive programming
• Understand the implications of socially constructed labels.

This workshop is perfect for you, if:
• You work with/ in diverse populations
• You work for an organization that provides services to populations with a different race, citizenship status, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender than you or the leadership of your organization
• You care about increasing access and opportunity for others on a meaningful level.
• You work in the nonprofit sector
• You sit on the board of a nonprofit organization that serve diverse populations

How to know if this workshop isn’t for you.

I’m going to be honest and let you know that this workshop may not be for everybody. this is not a sit and listen only workshop where the speaker reads from the Powerpoint and you are able to passively learn and take notes. this workshop requires you to engage, create, and have conversations so that you will walk away with not only a deeper understanding of privilege, but also a few tools to increase access and opportunity for others.

This workshop is typically $75 per person. in an effort to increase access and reach more people, i’ve reduced the rate to just $25 per person. space limited.

If you are seeking to make a shift in your organization it is strongly suggested that you take this workshop with your colleagues.

We hope you can make it!
*****Link to workshop will be emailed after purchase of workshop ticket. *******

Source: Creative Alliance email and EventBrite release, May 27, 2020.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020


The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) has just released a new report - Mortgages and Older Adults After COVID-19 - on its study of national mortgage lending. This is the first time data on the applicant and co-applicant's age was included in Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) information released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in September, 2019.

The report discusses trends in home buying, aging in place, and use of home equity. Key findings are:

1. Some 30% of mortgages in calendar 2018 went to older adults.
2. About 67% of older adults who got mortgages were refinancing homes and 68% of those used the mortgage to access the equity in their homes.
3. More older borrowers were white than younger borrowers.
4. There are racial disparities in interest rates charged to young and old minority borrowers.

The GBCHRB soon will release its study of the mortgage lending behavior of specific lenders who received mortgage applications from Baltimore City residents. Email Bill Kladky of the GBCHRB at wkladky@gbchrb.org to receive the upcoming report's press release. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

OCC Announces Final CRA Rule Changes, Moves Alone, Without FDIC Or Federal Reserve

By / May 20, 2020 / Press Releases
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced long-anticipated changes to rules that enforce the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) had previously joined the OCC in the rule-making effort, but it did not join in the final rule released today.
Jesse Van Tol, CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, and John Taylor, Founder and President of NCRC, made the following statements:
Jesse Van Tol:
“This is an awkward, disjointed and rushed move by a single agency that couldn’t get agreement from the two other agencies that regulate banks within the same administration. The OCC should have been able to agree and work with the other two agencies that oversee enforcement of the same law. It couldn’t. It failed. That’s an administrative fiasco. 
“It is telling that the FDIC wouldn’t join the OCC in this rulemaking process. It is also telling that this final 372-page set of rules came just six weeks after the close of the public comment period, a record-breaking pace, and a day before Comptroller Otting resigns from the agency. He just made a regulatory mess and he isn’t sticking around to fix it.
“The timing is shocking, in the middle of a pandemic that has been hardest on lower-income communities this law is supposed to protect. What an insulting and cruel moment to unleash new rules that will in some cases help banks to do less for some poor communities and communities of color. Those are the communities hit hardest by COVID-19.”
John Taylor:
“This solo move by the OCC breaks what should be a uniform system for all lenders. So if the new rules take hold, which is a big if, we’ll have an even more complex, confusing and broken system that will need to be repaired later.
“Just about everyone who has a stake in CRA, including bankers, urged the agencies to stop the rule-making processes during the COVID-19 crisis. The FDIC listened and opted to not move forward at this time. The OCC didn’t.
“The lack of participation from the FDIC and the Federal Reserve, and the rush to push this final rule through during a global pandemic, is of great concern. These changes are not in the best interest of any of the stakeholders involved, and they are clearly not in the public interest. Almost nobody wanted these rules now, and that included bankers.
Source: NCRC (National Community Reinvestment Coalition).

Tuesday, April 28, 2020


The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting every community in the nation. Shuttering schools and
workplaces, slowing public transportation, and delaying community-based services. In this series
of videos, the National Disability Rights Network explains what your rights are and what you can
do if you believe your rights are being violated. We hope this series will help to strengthen
self-advocacy, address racial inequities, and protect the rights/lives of people with disabilities. Go to:

The NDRN has videos on a wide variety of COVID-19 related topics:


Source: National Disability Rights Network release, April 28, 2020.