Richmond residents decide to move due to mortgage hike

Taking Action

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — In March, Mayor Levar Stoney proposed restoring the real estate tax to pre-recession levels. The measure didn’t pass, but some folks told 8News they are feeling the pinch. 

“Kitchen obviously,” said Richmond resident Prudence Milligan. “Then  literally all we have left to pack is our clothes and the refrigerator and pantry.”

Throughout Milligan’s home you can find boxes, packing up after five years on West Franklin Street. 

“We love our neighbors,” said Milligan. “Love the neighborhood.”

Milligan grew up in Richmond and never thought she would move out of the city. But the past few years have been tough.

“Our assessment has gone up 61,000 in three years which seems a smidge excessive,” said Milligan. “Which then in turn has caused our mortgage to increase a couple hundred dollars.” 

With a child nearing the end of high school, Milligan and her husband crunched the numbers and they no longer added up enough to stay in the city. They’re now moving to Chesterfield County. 

“Really hard decision for all of us because I’ve lived in the city my entire life,” said Milligan. “But it was just something we needed to do to start hunkering down.”

Richmond assessor Richie McKeithen told 8News in the past year, the average assessed value of a single family home jumped from $246,000 to $262,000. That’s a 6.9% percent increase. 

While Milligan would like to return to the city one day, right now it’s not an option. 

“I do feel like I’m throwing in the towel and I do feel guilty about that but at some point I have to start looking at my family,” said Milligan. 

McKeithen says the typical increase on a tax bill is $96 a year. He says city council will set the tax rate this fall which will determine how much residents will pay.

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