I would like to start by quoting President Obama, who said, “The economic slump is driven by decreasing home values.”

I, myself, have stood back for many years. It’s time for a change. I cannot move the mountain of taxes anymore. Something has to be done now.

Most of my neighbors have already been forced to move to nearby West Virginia. In fact, another one of my neighbors is in the process of moving to West Virginia as this letter is being written.

As I drove along the roads of West Virginia, I could not believe the increase in homes along Knobley Road. At one time there was “a” house on each side of the road, and now the homes are three to five deep on both sides.

I am financially being driven out of my American Dream Home. The one I built with my own two hands and some help from others, because of high taxes which are currently $3,600.

My house is valued at $183,000. I spoke to a friend living in the county, and he pays $3,000 on his $600,000 home. How can that be?

Whether you like living in the city or the county, our governor needs to come through with better percentages for paying taxes for all, a more equal rate.

I have some pictures of my property and surrounding properties that I would like to share. I currently have to pay to plow and maintain the road beside my house and the rear of my house because it is not maintained by the city.

Also, the average house sold in the city of Cumberland is generally $125,000. The highest price in my neighborhood has been $139,000. My house appraised for $183,000 and by your estimate will be $193,000 by the year 2011.

Now as I get close to the so-called “golden years,” I’m hoping to have a nice nest egg, which I have worked for all of my life, when I retire.

It is all but taken away legally through high taxes. I will be lucky if I can break even. I need help, now. We all need help.

I would like to close by saying I don’t believe I could sell my house for the appraised value of $183,000 to $193,000. Generally, houses in my neighborhood would sell for $10,000 to $30,000 more than the appraised rate.

When I retire, my wife and I will probably have to lower our standard of living and move to a much smaller house, most likely in West Virginia. What happened to the “American Dream”?

I plan to send copies of this assessment of your record sheets to Gov. O’Malley and also to the President of the United States.

William F. Goss Jr.

Cumberland

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