Homeowners shocked by tax bills

March 3, 2009 5:25:09 PM PST
Property revaluation notices are in the mail, and some homeowners are not happy with big tax increases.Cumberland County resident Nadine Kingsley is 92. She's lived in her Cypress Lakes home for nearly 30 years. Six years ago, the tax value was about $152,000. Now, the tax man says it's worth more than $195,000.

"It just seems like it's out of this world to raise it from what it was. It's an old wooden house. To raise it from there to what it came recent," she told Eyewitness News.

Kingley's son isn't happy either.

"Got that in the mail on Friday and realized that it had gone up over 30 percent in this assessment. 30 percent? What was the basis for that?" asked Tom Kingsley.

Like many seniors, his mom is on a fixed budget. He said the increase will be devastating.

"And we're trying to live within that budget and keep the bills paid. And suddenly now we're introducing anywhere from five to seven hundred dollars more a year. That's over 50 to 70 dollars a month. Where's that coming from?" he asked.

The Cumberland County Tax Assessor's Office is fielding all the complaints from angry homeowners. It says residents actually have been protected from the spike in home values seen in other parts of the U.S.

"We seem to be sheltered somewhat from the problems that the rest of the country experiences. And I think it's due to the location with Bragg and the soldiers and their families and all of that. The values here seem to fairly stable," explained Tax Assessor Aaron Donaldson.

Still, Donaldson said his office is listening to resident's concerns. Anyone who feels their new assessment is incorrect can fill out a form that comes with the notice.


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