An Indiana town is trying to force its poor residents to sell their property by fining them excessive amounts. The town is issuing $50 per day fines for code violations that include chipped paint and weeds over eight inches. The fines are mailed to the property owners, but the fines start adding up the date they are issued. Some owners have over $1000 in fines before they even receive the notice they have been fined. There is a private developer who is trying to buy the properties being targeted with the fines, and the local government is likely issuing the fines in an attempt to get the property owners to sell their property to the developer for cheap.
This Indiana Town Wants to Fine a Community Out of Existence on Behalf of Private Developers
Members of a small, low-income community in Indiana are discovering that state-level protections that make it hard for cities to seize their property may not be enough. When city leaders decide to get into bed with private developers, there are all sorts of ways for cronyism to threaten the property rights of owners.