RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – It’s a tale of two neighborhoods in the area of South Person and Bragg streets in Raleigh.
On one hand, new houses. On the other, houses that have been around for decades.
“It has gotten more expensive. We only have a handful of African American families living in this neighborhood. When I moved here, everyone was African American,” said Helen Montague.
Montague has lived in that neighborhood for about 20 years. She said her property tax bill for her house has doubled since moving there.
“I’m not against people making money, but against people getting outsourced from their residence, you know?” Montague said.
Thursday night, dozens of people from across Wake County gathered at Southeast Raleigh Table to share their stories.
“Please. Please. Please help us keep our families’ legacies alive,” said Elaine Peebles-Brown, long-time Rochester Heights resident.
“We want our elected officials to commit to the goal of our proposal. Work with us to end this tale of two cities,” Vanessa Anderson, another long-time Rochester Heights resident, later said.
With the help of ONE Wake, residents also used the opportunity to tell City of Raleigh and Wake County leaders what they want to see happen next to alleviate the tax burden.
“Work with us to create a new property tax assistance program,” said Rev. Donna Battle with Southeast Raleigh Table.
The proposed program would be for longtime low-income homeowners who:
- Earn 80 percent of the average median income or less.
- Have lived in their home for 10 or more years.
- Paying more than 2 percent of income on property taxes.
One by one, city and county leaders who came out Thursday said yes to help make it happen.
Wake County Commission Chairman Matt Calabria said the county is already working on ways to help.
Raleigh City Council members Corey Branch and Stormie Forte said they plan to work with Wake County and organizers with ONE Wake.