Paul Sweitzer is considering retirement.
At age 65, that might seem appropriate - if it were on his own terms.
But it's not age that's the major factor. It's York City School District taxes.
He owns Sweitzer's Hobby Depot on East Market Street, a business in the family for three decades.
It's hard to keep up with the tax hikes, he said. He had considered going into semi-retirement to ease into his new phase of life, but he needs the full-time revenue to keep up with taxes.
The other option is to get out of the city and sell, but that's a difficult real estate proposition.
"The first thing they ask about is taxes. Their only concern is taxes," Sweitzer said.
York City residents will be hit with a 17 percent school property tax hike when their bill is sent out this summer; the city raised taxes 17 percent, too, for a double whammy. The school board approved its budget Wednesday.
For a $50,000 homeowner in York City, the school district's tax hike is about $265; for a $100,000 homeowner, that's about a $530 tax hike.
District officials said dwindling state funding forced their hand, and even with the tax hike, several programs and staff members were cut.
Some city residents and business owners said they are more focused on how the hike is going to affect them than the blame game.
'Ridiculous': "They're going to up the rent. It's ridiculous," said Zabrina Ruppert, 24, who has a son in third grade.
She said she's planning on leaving the state, in part because taxes are getting out of control.
Rent increases are on the mind of James Rossell, 35. His West Market Street business, Built to Last Tattooing, has been in the city for 15 years. And rent keeps going up.
"They say each year it's because of taxes," Rossell said of his landlord.
Candice Wolford, a 33-year-old mother born and raised in the city, said she wanted to buy her grandparents' home in the Fireside section. But $5,000 in property taxes scared her off, and she thinks she'll have to go outside the city to afford a home purchase, considering the tax hike.
Then there's Granger Reid. The 67-year-old said he is in the process of buying his home on South Penn Street and the adjacent property, as he and his family have been renting in both homes.
The tax hike is "disgusting," the grandfather of two York City students said.
"School taxes should have been moderated. They are supposed to be smarter than you and me," Reid said on his porch step.
After retiring from 50 years in the manufacturing business, Reid is on a fixed income now and worried tax hikes like the ones just approved will eventually be his undoing.
"I've got a heart condition. For me to sit and worry about their next stupid move, it's going to cost me my life," Reid said.
-- Reach Andrew Shaw at firstname.lastname@example.org