MILWAUKEE — Relief is on the way for hundreds of Milwaukee homeowners who saw their property taxes skyrocket this year. Anonymous donors raised $400,000 dollars to make sure those homeowners aren't displaced.
The anti-displacement fund will help homeowners who had their property taxes rise 10-percent higher than the city average in Milwaukee. Homeowner Troy Yancey says it's a major relief after seeing her property assessment increase $51,000 in just one year.
Yancey has lived in her two-story brick home on N. 2nd St. for nearly 60 years. For the past several months she's been worried about how she's going to pay an additional $1,000-$2,000 in property taxes for 2019, but on Thursday, she received a letter in mail letting her know help is on the way.
"It was just sort of a cushion that you know you're not going to be falling through the cracks or one day may not stay in your home," she said.
The city assessed Yancey's property in 2018 at $87,000. Just one year later, it shot up to $138,000.
"I have an income, I think it's sufficient for me and my needs, but I wasn't prepared for a 52 percent increase," she said.
Yancey is one of 265 homeowners who live in north and south-side neighborhoods that saw dramatic increases in property assessments due to downtown development and a hot housing market.
Thanks to anonymous donors with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, President Julia Taylor said homeowners can now apply for help with the additional taxes.
"I think what we're really hoping to do is ensure that as the growth continues in Milwaukee and it spreads on the north and south sides, that the character of those neighborhoods remain in tact," Taylor said.
Taylor says there are requirements including owning your home since 2015.
The maximum income limit:
$36,575 for 1 person
$41,180 for 2 people
$47,025 for family of 3
$52,250 for family of 4
$56,430 for family of 5
$60,610 for family of 6
Yancey is grateful she and others can continue to live in the neighborhoods they helped build.
The Greater Milwaukee Foundation hopes it will be able to off-set property tax increases for eligible homeowners for the next 5 years.
The application process is open and needs to be completed by January 3rd. Homeowners can drop off applications at the following two locations.
North-side: Riverworks Development Corporation
526 E. Concordia Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53212
South-side: Mitchell Street Business Improvement District
823 W. Historic Mitchell Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204