Saturday, January 06, 2007

Makeover family can't afford taxes on new home


The Llanes family had a fairy-tale moment when "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" swept into Bergenfield last spring, knocked down their creaky old home and built them a futuresque dream house.

The community celebrated. People shed tears of joy.

Happily ever after, right?

Not quite.

A better home means a higher assessment. And a higher assessment, of course, means a higher tax bill. In this case, more than $14,000.

Now, Vic Llanes is beginning to feel the burden of his family's windfall.

"We feel an ax hanging over our head," said Llanes, who is blind and has three disabled children. "With all the taxes, it's like we're on a chopping block."