It's amazing what difference one Good Samaritan can make.
Last week, Desiree Kalleigh, the owner of Good Times restaurant in Ballston Lake, was set to go into foreclosure for failure to pay her property taxes. But when a local manwho wishes to remain anonymousread about her plight in The Spotlight, he walked into her business the next day with a check for $40,000.
"His motivation was to give me hope," Kalleigh said, who went with her son straightaway to the county offices and paid up her back taxes. "Somehow he knew that I had no more choices."
The benefactor said that he had been struck by a divine influence the night after reading the Nov. 12 story, and simply asked Kalleigh that she pay him back when she was able.
The past few years haven't been the best of times for Kalleigh. She owed taxes from 2007 to present, according to the county, and had fallen behind largely because her husband's secondary progressive multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's had been deteriorating his health for seven years, culminating in his costly placement in a nursing home. For Kalleigh, caring for her husband and running a business resulted in hard times, and her own health problems earlier this year didn't make it any easier.
"When your husband gets sick, you do what you have to do to pay medical bills," she said.
Kalleigh ended up owing $24,000 to the county, money that she simply didn't have and couldn't get a loan for. The problem was compounded by state property tax law, which says payments must be made from the most recent year backwards. Without being able to pay off the earlier taxes, she was stuck even after raising $12,500 to start paying the county back.
"All I wanted to do was pay my taxes," she said. "And when they told me I couldn't I got angry.