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Associated Press, Published November 19 2010

Suit alleges Minneapolis illegally inflated home values

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A new lawsuit alleges the city of Minneapolis illegally inflated home reassessments in some lower income neighborhoods.

The suit seeking class action status is based on an analysis of home values in higher-income neighborhoods compared to those in areas where foreclosures and homes resales are high. Plaintiff John Braun, a University of Minnesota law student, and the school's legal clinic checked assessments on some 10,000 homes.

The legal action accuses the city of setting property values in some poorer neighborhoods an average of 50 percent higher than the price the owners paid for the properties in the previous year.

City Attorney Susan Segal tells the Star Tribune the lawsuit results from a lack of understanding of the property tax system. She says the city will fight the lawsuit.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.