A just-completed property tax assessment will hike your property tax 10 to 15 percent for many, but may vary on a case-by-case basis. And if you've built an addition or a garage, this will affect your percentage increase, as well.
If this isn't enough bad news, and if Portsmouth City Council has its way, there will be another large property-tax increase added to your home, sweet home. Council is planning to ramrod a $10-million to $14-million city building down our already depleting tax base and slumping market without any say or vote from us, the property owners. Council members apparently don't realize the whole country is facing a recession.
More than 50 percent of property in Portsmouth is in the hands of landlords who only will pass any tax increase along to their tenants - many of whom are government subsidized or who pay only a small percentage of their rent. Here, the taxpayer pays again for the tax increase.
In a recent article in the Portsmouth Daily Times, it was reported Scioto County has the second highest percentage of people living in poverty in Ohio - 25.3 percent. Of course, this includes the city of Portsmouth.
In a recent City Council meeting, it became clear to members their only solution to bail themselves out of their poor management skills is to go after those who are trying to make an honest living or to be a proud city homeowner.
Instead of looking for ways to cut costs like many of us have to do to make ends meet, they are talking of income-tax increases and placing more property taxes on homeowners for their own self-serving, selfish egos.
Councils seem to be under the impression citizens are in favor of them sitting in a new, plush city hall, while the rest of the city turns into filthy slums.
This new city hall tax will be placed on us without a vote from the citizens, much like the Marting's building purchase was assessed to our property tax without a vote.
If you haven't kept up on it, the city's latest, sneaky fee increase of a 3-percent water rate hike for all users, and a 3-percent increase for sewage users amounts to a 6-percent increase. This increase was placed in the 2008 budget by your Mayor (James) Kalb, in which he also included himself a 12-percent pay raise, which amounts to about $7,000 a year.
Remember, your Mayor Kalb still works elsewhere, too, and also is earning his full retirement while he drives a city car to work using the city's gas credit card.
Let's not forget the fact he wanted to close McKinley Pool, as well as sell some of the city parks, while our children wonder the streets with nothing to do. No wonder Portsmouth has become what it is.
Remember all the mayor's requests - not for playgrounds, but for a new SUV, 100% paid health insurance and now a big new high-rise office in a new city building just to satisfy his over-inflated ego, while the city is being taken over by drug dealers and prostitutes. Taxes and rate increases are his only accomplishments while in office.
I think of those on fixed incomes, who must do without some essentials just to pay their taxes or lose everything they've worked all their lives for.
There still will be hope if homeowners stand together and say we've had enough, make the city tighten its belt like poor citizens who are struggling to survive. Make that phone call, write your representative, call the mayor's office. Unless you do, they will continue to think you're happy to pay more taxes and just keep adding more. Are you happy to pay more taxes? It's better to work against bad management and unfair taxation than be buried with it.