Michael Wauhop last week got some good news about his property taxes.
“They told me it would go down,” the Morrell Park resident said. “But I don’t believe it.”
Wauhop was among about 200 Northeast residents who attended a March 14 city information session on property reassessments that was held at Archbishop Ryan High School.
City staffers gave individual attention to each resident, examining the reassessment notices they recently received and giving them information about seeking reviews or types of tax relief.
They also estimated what homeowners will pay in 2014 taxes if City Council approves Mayor Michael Nutter’s suggested 1.3204 percent tax rate and a $15,000 homestead exemption.
The exemption is first subtracted from the property’s new assessment, and that lower number is multiplied by the tax rate. For example, the owner of a house assessed at $115,000 could subtract $15,000 and get a new property value of $100,000. Then he would multiply that figure by 0.013204, resulting in a tax of $1,320.40 in property taxes.
As he left Ryan, Wauhop said he simply refused to accept that his taxes would go down.
When asked why, he responded, “History! My taxes have gone up three of the last four years.”
He said he is now paying about $2,000 annually on his one-story, two-bedroom house. In 2010, his taxes were about $300 lower.
“Democrats have never seen a tax increase they didn’t like,” he said. “I’m already looking at real estate outside the city. I’m fed up with tax increases.”
Joseph A. McIvor of the 12600 block of Medford Road in Parkwood said the city staffers who talked to him at the Ryan session were polite and helpful. He was happy that it looks as if his taxes will decrease if City Council approves the mayor’s suggested tax rate.
McIvor said he also has seen a few years of tax hikes. He’s lived in his home for 46 years and can recall paying a total of $1,200 annually — for principal and interest on his mortgage as well as in taxes. His taxes alone now are more than $2,200 a year, he said. In 2010, they were just a bit higher than $1,900.
People are talking, he said, about being priced out of their homes. “They’re thinking about moving to retirement homes or in with relatives,” he said.
Pat and Richard Stevens, of Vinton Road in Parkwood, however, didn’t think much of the session.
“They’re just trying to make you feel good,” Pat Stevens said. ••