A Chance To Help Ted White

Ted White at the 2004 Corflu

Ted White needs help to stay in his Falls Church home and keep the tax man off his back. He has started a GoFundMe to “Save My House”.

Ted, now 79, has a deep resume in the sf field. He is a writer with a dozen books published, former editor of Amazing and Fantastic, a past Worldcon chairman, winner of the Best Fan Writer Hugo, and the 1985 Worldcon fan guest of honor.

Since 1970 I’ve lived in the house in Falls Church, Virginia, in which I grew up.  It was built by my parents in 1935 and expanded in 1946.  I did extensive remodeling in the ’70s.

The problem is property taxes.  They keep going up, and are currently around $12,000 a year (with the threat of a 3% increase).  I have paid them out of my dwindling savings, and my savings are now gone.  I cannot pay the current (half-annual) bill of $6,048.89, which was due last December.

At my age, opportunities for employment are limited.  Currently I work one day a week as the copyeditor of my local weekly newspaper.

I fear becoming homeless.  Losing my house is a certainty unless I can keep the property taxes paid, and do the necessary upkeep on the house (it needs painting and a new roof, at a minimum).  With the exception of 12 years in New York City, I’ve lived in this house all my life.  All my memories (and all my possessions) are here.  Losing my house would be devastating.

 [Thanks to JJ, Cathy, Glenn Glazer, and Danny Sichel for the story.]

17 thoughts on “A Chance To Help Ted White

  1. This is the guy who used his bully pulpit to introduce so many readers of AMAZING and FANTASTIC to fandom. This is the guy who wrote the first Captain America novel (are you listening, Hollywood?). This is the guy who gave HEAVY METAL as much class as it was capable of having, transcending the French original in so many ways. Boost the signal, people!

  2. The “Go Fund Me” site is rejecting a lot of valid credit cards, including mine, so I just sent Ted a check. 1014 N. Tuckahoe St., Falls Church, VA 22046

  3. Even if you can’t afford a donation, please consider spreading the word on social media or by forwarding the link to someone you know would be interested.

  4. This used to happen in California before Prop 13 passed in the 70’s. Virginia must still assess property tax on the appraisal value of the home. Without Prop 13, my sales tax would be four times as high, and during the housing bubble would have been six times higher.

    I hope he uses any funds above his immediate need to find assistance. I imagine Virginia must have some programs to assist elderly people to keep them in their homes. He would also seem to be a good candidate for a reverse mortgage, if he can find a reputable company. I have heard that some of them are basically fraudulent.

    I loved the Qanar series when I was a kid. This is very sad.

  5. Moderator’s Announcement: I deleted a comment that borders on doxing. There’s nothing sinister happening here. If you need information about Ted’s assets that hasn’t been volunteered, then obviously this fundraiser is not for you.

    Ted’s always been a straight-shooter with me (I have the scars to prove it! 🙂 ) and in turn I respect his decision about how to try and solve his dilemma.

  6. Since he said there are limited employment opportunities at his age, I e-mailed him a link to copyeditor job where I work, 1.5 miles from his house, via the mail feature of gofundme. (I forgot to tell him, my company’s good at diversity, so if he can do the job, his age shouldn’t be an issue.) I don’t know if he actually is looking for a full-time job (no idea whether age/health/etc. permit it), but (shrug) just in case!

    @Michael J. “Orange Mike” Lowrey: “This is the guy who used his bully pulpit to…” (do a bunch of things that sound positive).

    I’ve only ever heard “bully pulpit” used negatively, so your comment confused me at first (I almost didn’t read the rest of it). Is that just me? Anyway, suggested alternatives: platform, pulpit (no “bully”), I can’t think of the other term that was on the tip of my tongue. Sorry to nit pick, and thanks for the info.

  7. @Kurt Busiek: So, just me then! Thanks. 🙂 My bad, I should’ve looked it up; I believed I knew the meaning and/or origin (mistake #1).

  8. Ted’s publicly stated that he is not the owner of the house, his daughter is, so he’s not eligible for the programs people keep helpfully pointing him towards. He estimates that as soon as he’s gone, developers will buy the property, tear the house down, and build houses listing for over $1 million apiece on this and the adjoining lot(s).

  9. Michael J. “Orange Mike” Lowrey: Ted’s publicly stated that he is not the owner of the house, his daughter is, so he’s not eligible for the programs people keep helpfully pointing him towards.

    Now that the immediate crisis has been averted, I hope that the people close to him are helping him to figure out a way to ensure that he will be able to cover the taxes without going into crisis and running a fundraiser every year.

  10. I hope his daughter’s figuring out a way to pay the taxes if for no other reason than that she doesn’t want to lose her big payday by having the property taken for lack of tax payment.

  11. @OrangeMike

    That’s what is puzzling me about this whole thing. If Ted’s daughter is the legal owner of the house, why isn’t she paying the taxes? Or at the very least, splitting the bill with him.

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  13. Dear Mike,

    Any followup to the story on Ted White’s situation? I have the suspicion that too many older fans and pros are going through the same type of situation that Ted is. Can/should something be done? Some sort of central clearinghouse of sources of aid be established?

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