COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. – A woman who has been in her home 14 years fears she may lose it, over some gross oversight.
A few years ago Annette Blankenship fell on hard times but that didn't stop her from lending a hand when needed. Friends of Blankenship said the Colonial Heights woman is known for helping others, sometimes to her own detriment.
Blankenship, who lives on a fixed income and qualifies to not pay real estate tax, has been trying to pay her real estate tax bill all along.
In 2013 as her limited income got smaller, she only paid $300 of the bill. But due to her economic status, she wasn’t supposed to pay anything, if she filled out the proper paperwork.
Over the years, the bills and fees continued to climb, and the city sent her account to a lawyer for collection. She now owes nearly $3,000 in taxes that she is exempt from paying.
"I need help today,” Blankenship said.
On Monday she went to Colonial Heights City Hall to see what could be done.
"My first notice of it was yesterday when I talked with you,” said Bill Feasenmyer, Commissioner of Revenue.
He said he talked with her in detail about her situation.
Commissioner Feasenmyer was able to make an adjustment, but it may not be enough.
"By state statute, I can waive the deadline she missed on her 2016 Taxes and I have done that,” he said.
That statute won't allow him to adjust the 2013 tax or associated fees.
She still owed close $2,000, and her goal is to get her house off the auction block and have a payment plan put in place.
As for 2017 taxes, Feasenmyer has already filled out her exemption form, to make sure this doesn't happen again.
"She should be in a little better situation than she was yesterday,” Feasenmyer said.
"I am, I'm in a much better place, I have hope today, that god didn't bring me this far to let go of me now,” she said.