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Last updated 5:40AM ET
February 26, 2021
Alabama
Alabama
Suit Challenges Alabama Property Taxes on Racial Bias Grounds
(2008-03-18)
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - A federal court suit contends Alabama's lowest-in-the-nation property taxes were rooted in racial discrimination a century ago and still harm black students in disproportionate numbers.

Jim Blacksher, a civil rights attorney who filed the suit, said it seeks an order for the governor and Legislature to restructure Alabama's tax system across the board to sufficiently fund K-12 schools.

Filed in Birmingham federal court Friday on behalf of some Lawrence and Sumter county public school students, the suit seeks class-action status that could impact all public schools in the state.

Blacksher, a lead attorney in a long-running college desegregation case, said the suit, if successful, would require the state to confront tax reform, including sales taxes that hit the poor hardest.

Robert Hunter, an attorney who represented the state in the higher education case, said he was disappointed the issue was raised in federal court and not left to the legislative process and Alabama residents.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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