DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46) Patricia Hutcheson will be 79-years-old next Friday. She's lived in her home on Rockyford Road in Kirkwood for the last 50 years.
“When I first moved here, everything was so much different,” she told reporter Ashley Thompson. “We didn't have all these large houses and everything.”
While Hutcheson said she enjoys her new, wealthier neighbors, they have caused her property taxes to skyrocket.
“It has more than tripled in the last four or five years,” she said.
The value of her house has increased 132 percent since 2005. Her City of Atlanta taxes have increased by 319 percent since 2011.
Hutcheson is not the only one in Kirkwood feeling the pinch of gentrification. One woman, who did not want to be identified, has lived in her Rockyford Road house since the 1960s. The value of the house has increased by 131 percent since 2005.
“They're basing the property value on these other houses,” she told Thompson. “This house was appraised I believe at 293 and this house hasn't had any improvements since I’ve been here. There's no way it's worth 293.”
If she doesn't come up with the $2,300 she owes in taxes by the end of the month she’ll be kicked out.
“She says she gets $700 a month for disability,” said Justin Schaeffer. “That's $8,400 a year and her taxes are $2,200.”
Schaeffer is a newer Kirkwood resident who is leading a charge to help long-term homeowners. He's raising money to pay the woman’s taxes.
“Certainly there's a sense of responsibility and guilt for those who are helping to gentrify the neighborhood and driving these prices up which is driving the taxes up.”
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