Brandy Creek Residents Sue for Refund of Taxes

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Land Value Increases in Brandy Creek

Residents of the Brandy Creek and Wallace Fork Road Community have opened the newest chapter in their struggle for justice against the harms caused by the failed plan to develop Carolina Crossroads entertainment district and the Roanoke Rapids Theater in their neighborhood. Residents of the community filed a lawsuit today in Halifax County Superior Court against the county, the City of Roanoke Rapids, and Weldon City Schools seeking a refund of illegally inflated property taxes collected in 2007, 2008 and 2009. After the 2007 property revaluation, their land values and property taxes went up an average of over 800%, and as high as 1400%, an intense hardship which decimated the community. Read the complaint (PDF).

In 2006 the community was annexed into Roanoke Rapids without notice to the residents as part of the new entertainment district. Since 2008 the UNC Center for Civil Rights has assisted the community, first with seeking de-annexation from Roanoke Rapids, and now with the refund of absurdly high and illegal property taxes. The community was finally de-annexed by the legislature in 2011.

Property taxes in the community increased for two separate reasons, first because of the addition of Roanoke Rapids city taxes, for which the community received minimal services. The greatest part of the tax increase, however, was due to the illegally inflated property values from the 2007 valuation. Last November, residents sent letters to the three local government taxing authorities named in the lawsuit, as each of them improperly benefited from the illegally inflated taxes. Residents and their counsel also made a presentation to the Halifax County Board of Commissioners. All three local governments refused to refund the taxes, leaving residents with no other alternative but to seek justice through the courts.

In addition to the UNC Center for Civil Rights, the residents are assisted by Attorney Bettina Roberts-Flood who practices in Halifax and is representing the residents pro bono in recognition of the injustice facing the community.

Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Fri. August 24, 2012 3:57 PM
Categories: Community Inclusion, Halifax County, Halifax Taxes
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