“What do you do after that?”

From the Herald News:

Senior’s cherished home going on block

If the reasons Theresa Skibicki had to sell her house were lined up like a row of dominos, the latest tax bill gave those tiles a mighty push.

The 76-year-old Skibicki opened her third-quarter property tax bill from the city, saw her taxes had more than doubled, and decided to put her home on the market.

Skibicki, a senior citizen on a fixed income and living in a cherished historic home, is one of scores of Paterson homeowners still reeling from the impact of the citywide property revaluation. Some have vowed to appeal their new assessments, others want to pack up and go.

The bill for Skibicki, which raised her quarterly taxes from about $1,150 to more than $2,460, prompted her to put the house up for sale. But the real estate market may not bear an asking price at the home’s newly assessed value of about $427,000.

Skibicki, like many other homeowners, is disputing the assessed value — assessors did not examine the building’s interior, she said. Now Skibicki feels she cannot pay the roughly $7,000 in taxes due before being able to appeal the assessment to the Passaic County Board of Taxation next April.

Living on a monthly Social Security pension of $740 and about $100 a month more in interest from savings, Skibicki said, she had rented out a one-bedroom attached apartment until December, but three trips to Landlord-Tenant Court soured her on any more renters. She has money in savings, and is worried about what happens when that money runs out.

“That’s all I have,” she said. “What do you do after that?”

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3 Responses to “What do you do after that?”

  1. Latourk says:

    These are the people that are being targeted ,and forced to move out .Somebody will buy her house fix it up and the town will raise the property tax .The town hits a home when they force a homeowner out and then the house is torn down an a McMansion is built .That leads to a doubling or even tripling of the property and costing the town nothing .It’s just like forcing people to move without using enement domain .

  2. Ed Sanders says:

    Mrs. Skibicki should sell her house. She may not want to, but most people are faced with doing something they don’t want to at least once a day, whether it’s taking out the trash or getting up and going to work.

    It would be great if Mrs. Skibicki didn’t have to make a hard choice, but that, as they say, is life.

    For the record, I would love to see residential property taxes eliminated in NJ, not just reduced, so please don’t take this as any kind of endorsement for our hideously stupid and impossibly outdated property tax system. Taxing land may have made sense when it was used for farming, as it was in the 18th or 19th century when the tax was first put in place, but it is just stupid today.

    BTW, even if she doesn’t get anywhere near the $427K assessment for her home, she should get enough to live in a perfectly nice place that she can afford, I wish her nothing but the best.

  3. Mike T says:

    Looks like the death of personal property to me. The ‘state’ needs to tax, tax, tax and has become a predator to the very people it was set up to serve. But we all know that the people were made to serve the state and not the other way around.

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