GILROY (CBS SF) — A low-income housing community in Gilroy could be getting an unexpected payday after being over-charged on property taxes for more than a decade.
For Erin Cerdan, her home is the fruit of her labor. Her family along with 31 others built the homes in part of a low-income housing project.
“It was a tough road, but it was well worth it,” Cerdan said.
The home, and the community it sits in is still intact, but many, including Cerdan, struggle to pay their bills.
Things only got tougher when their property taxes shot up by $300 a month.
“I started talking to my neighbors and finding out they were in the same boat as I was in. I even heard one neighbor say ‘I had to make a choice between paying my mortgage and groceries,’” Cerdan said.
Four months of questions led Cerdan to the Santa Clara County Tax Assessor’s Office.
“This was no fault of the homeowners. When government does something wrong, I think we have an obligation to fix it,” Santa Clara County Tax Assessor Larry Stone said.
For Cerdan and the other families in the Los Arroyos Community, that’s music to their ears.
“There’s times where we didn’t have the money to pay our mortgage, and I had to charge our Visas. I’m gonna cut up those Visa cards big time. I can’t wait,” Cerdan said.
The tax assessor only has the authority to refund up to four years of overpayments, but will be working with other county officials to get a full refund over all 13 years.