Several months ago, Livingston County Democrats learned that Oakland County was filing a lawsuit against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to collect back taxes from the two mortgage giants. The privately owned but federally backed mortgage lenders had not been paying transfer taxes on real estate, claiming they were exempt as part of the federal government.
We thought this could provide some needed revenue for our county. Jordan Genso, then party chair, went to the Livingston County Commissioners and urged them to look into joining the lawsuit. The all-Republican county commission didn't take that step, but a federal judge later created a class-action lawsuit.
That lawsuit has resulted in a ruling that the two lenders do owe the transfer taxes. Livingston County Register of Deeds Sally Reynolds says the ruling could mean $217,000 for the county. It's disappointing that Reynolds sounded negative about the extra revenue for the county, complaining that it was an "ongoing nightmare."
A good use of that money would be to start a foreclosure prevention program in Livingston County, as local Democrats said at the time.
The local media didn't mention that it was Livingston County Democrats who first brought the issue up here, but it was.
The public has the idea that it's only Republicans in Livingston County that have good ideas. Here's one case where it was Democrats who were on the ball.