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Woman facing hefty bill to repair public sidewalk in front of her Sacramento home

Sacramento woman stuck with $4,000 bill to fix sidewalk in front of her home
Sacramento woman stuck with $4,000 bill to fix sidewalk in front of her home 01:32

SACRAMENTO - A Sacramento woman just got a surprise bill in the thousands to fix the sidewalk in front of her house.

People have long told us they think city taxes should cover sidewalk repairs. But these bills are going out, right when inflation is hitting people hard.

"I was floored," said homeowner Jill Fox. 

Fox noticed this spray-painted arrow on the sidewalk where it's slightly raised.


Then this notice arrived in July, saying she had to fix the defective sidewalk by mid-September or the city would do it, costing her almost $4,000.

She had no idea that Sacramento homeowners are responsible for the sidewalk in front of their homes.

"Why can't some of the money we pay in taxes go towards the city maintenance of the city streets and sidewalks?" asked Fox.

But California code says it's your responsibility, and federal law says a city could get sued for violating the Americans with Disability Act if a city doesn't enforce safe sidewalks.

We found the City of Sacramento has sent out 644 notices so far this year, totaling nearly $1.2 million.

But what if people can't afford the repairs, especially with the impact of inflation? The city says it offers no-interest payment plans for up to three years. In some cases, they'll give you five. Jill feels trapped.

"I'm a little mad, yeah," she said. 

She couldn't find a cheaper price than the city's, so she's letting them do it, and will probably do the payment plan.

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