“We bought this house for $315,000 in 2003 … the appraisal was around $275,000 in 2010. Now it’s $215,000. The value keeps dropping but the taxes keep going up. The property taxes are more than $10,000 [a year.]
“Everyone is in shock when I tell them the property taxes. They say it must be an error. It’s not.
“[This house] is all I have. It’s my net worth. It’s who I am. The stress, the sleepless nights. Not wanting to enjoy yourself because you can’t. It never goes away. I just turned 66 and I can’t even think about retiring.
“This is supposed to be the American Dream for me and my family … I’m holding on to everything I can, but I’m losing because of this house. It’s a nightmare.
“[But] walking away is quitting. I will not give up.
“The consolidation of the school districts should happen – 70% of our taxes go toward the school district. We still have time to turn this around.
“I think about my children [and] how’s it going to be for them. My youngest daughter lives in Savannah, Georgia. The taxes are nothing. I don’t want to live in Savannah. I want to live here. This is me.
“I’m going to keep fighting as long as I have breath in my body …
“[There’s talk of] the ‘fair tax.’ Fair from whose point of view? It’s definitely not fair.
“Fair would be to look at each person’s tax bill and look at the value of their property. That is what fair is. There’s not a chance that lowers my [property tax] bill. Not at all. It’s just a drop in the bucket.
“The most important thing is to find a group of people trying to make a change. But people aren’t involved. They complain about it but they don’t do anything. They need to come aboard and help. I work everyday but I can’t use that as an excuse note to change what’s going on.
“Complaining does zero. We have to have action.”