WELCOME TO THE BLACK FARMERS SETTLEMENT PROJECT
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
DAVID A. CLARKE SCHOOL OF LAW
Background of the Case:
The class action lawsuit In Re Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation is a landmark case that asserted that the United States Department of Agriculture discriminated against African-American farmers on the basis of race. After years of litigation, this case was settled in 2010 and Congress appropriated a total of $1.25 billion dollars to fund settlement payments to successful class claimants. The class consists of approximately 18,000 claimants, the majority of whom received a liquid award payment of $50,000 in 2013. Given such a large settlement payment, questions inevitably arise about taxes and that’s where we come in!
The David A. Clarke School of Law at the University of the District of Columbia is honored to be of service to the recipients of this historic settlement. The law school’s low-income tax clinic (LITC) has created a unique program specifically tailored to provide much needed informational and educational tax assistance to settlement recipients. This program has come to be known at UDC as the Black Farmers Settlement Project.
The Project has reached out to recipients by:
1. Publishing an informational mailing that informs recipients that the settlement award is taxable income and educating them about their filing responsibilities;
2. Developing a website that answers Frequently Asked Questions;
3. Producing a video which communicates valuable tax information in clear and straightforward language;
4. Creating and operating a toll-free hotline (1-800-235-6121) through which dozens of UDC law students and alumni have provided personalized, human-to-human tax assistance to over 3,800 recipients by answering their individual questions and connecting them with local tax preparation services.
Please click HERE to view answers to Frequently Asked Questions and view an informational video.
Please click HERE to view a video of a panel discussion with Pigford Judge Paul Friedman, Class Co-Counsel Andrew Marks and Ombudsman Alva Waller.