Adjust constant yield tax rate

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I am writing to voice my opinion on the proposal to raise property taxes again in Charles County. I am strongly opposed to this idea at this time.

I live in Nanjemoy that just had a property tax increase, and which happened to come at a time when I just completed building a new home. Then, shortly after this reassessment in the western part of the county, the home values declined significantly and we are now stuck at this time paying the "new" assessed value from two years ago, instead of the new "market" value which for me would be approximately $150,000 less.

I have recently appealed this again. I feel it would be a burden on the citizens to raise taxes at this time as well as create a hardship for many families and the further risk of foreclosures. This is unfair tax collection. My own home, as soon as it was completed got hit with an $8,000 property tax bill. I appealed it due to the fact that the state had taken 20 acres of my land for forest conservation. The appeal only saved me approximately $500. Also, we are builders as well; the market crash has hit us particularly hard and we are fighting now to just keep our own home.

Any further rise in property taxes and additions to my escrow might take us over the edge and we would lose our dream home. I urge the commissioners to postpone this idea of raising property taxes especially at this time. It would be like kicking us while we are down. Since home values have crashed, by all accounts, the new "market" values are what we should be paying taxes on at this moment. And I am told that my current appeal would affect my 2010 property taxes.

So I anxiously await the $7,500 tax bill for 2009 based on a value of $650,000 when realistically my home is only worth now about $500,000. Do not raise the property taxes.

Rita Underwood, Nanjemoy