City taxes a thorn in the side for homeowners

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Editor, the News-Herald:

Mr. Pocklington’s column &uot;Rape and Pillage&uot; has really got me thinking. We moved to Suffolk in 1978, from Michigan via Virginia Beach. We first lived in Oak Ridge in a newly built ranch on Grove Avenue.

Five years later we built a modest two-story in Russell Point, and we’ve owned that house for over twenty years. Counting back to our first home in Michigan, we can say that each time we moved we doubled our house payment – not surprising since building costs have soared.

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What I didn’t expect, since moving to Russell Point, was that those house payments would continue to climb – and climb – and climb – to the point that we’ve again doubled our house payments – by just absorbing the higher tax rates and assessments! No, it doesn’t seem fair that all our years of loving care for our home and property – the landscaping, painting, remodeling, vinyl siding, and so on, which cost us plenty in dollars and our own labor – will turn around and bite us again – every year – in terms of TAXES. In other words, we pay and work all these years to keep the house nice, but after we retire we may not be able to afford to live there! We may have to sell it to someone who is not on a fixed income, and I guess buy a smaller home, or rent an apartment!

How can that be fair?

I remember, when I interviewed Sam Callis years ago, I was amused that he refused to paint his house because he didn’t want his taxes to go up. Not so amusing now!

Leslie Peterfeso