Monroe reassessment will have devastating effects
A crisis of monumental proportions is about to unfold throughout Monroe County. This crisis will be entirely man-made — in fact, it will be brought at the hands of just two elected officials. It should never have happened, and it will have life-changing, devastating consequences for thousands of ordinary citizens with newly affixed targets on their backs. The now-infamous Monroe County Property Reassessment Project, initiated and hyped by two sitting county commissioners, is nearing completion. The out-of-state firm they hired to conduct the reassessment has mailed property owners its conclusions, and every homeowner should now be aware of what the government believes their property is worth. This is just the beginning; it’s going to get much, much worse for many retired seniors. The newly assessed property values may be jaw-dropping to thousands of retired seniors, who for years paid property taxes under provisions of the 1989 assessment. But the crushing blow will come when these seniors discover their future property taxes — including their school property taxes — have doubled or even tripled based on the new assessment. How many retirees, living on fixed incomes, can afford a 100 percent increase in property taxes?
Thousands of people in Monroe County today are living in houses old enough to have been included in the 1989 assessment. Many — if not most — of these people have been in their homes for decades and are now old enough themselves to be past their working years. These thousands, the same ones who’ve dutifully paid their property tax bills for all these years, now stand accused by the commissioners of gaming the system and failing to “pay their fair share.” This was their sole justification for the reassessment to begin with. Does anyone think for a minute that these commissioners will hesitate to put seniors out on the street?
L. Ernie Foucault