Property Taxes
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Property Taxes

  1. #1
    Posting Addict
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    7,355

    Default Property Taxes

    Property tax avalanche threatens homeowners on historic coastal island - CNN.com

    Slave descendents fight tax hikes

    Sapelo Island, Georgia (CNN) -- It's a culture struggling to survive. Fewer than 50 people -- all descendants of slaves -- fear they may soon be taxed out of the property their families have owned since the days of slavery.

    They are the Gullah-Geechee people of Sapelo Island off Georgia's coast, near Savannah. This small, simple community is finding itself embroiled in a feud with local officials over a sudden, huge increase in property assessments that are raising property taxes as much as 600% for some. Many say the increase could force them to sell their ancestral properties.

    County Attorney Adam Poppell told CNN that the Gullah-Geechee culture is invaluable, but the properties had been historically undervalued due to errors in previous property appraisals.

    Sapelo Island, about the size of Manhattan, is a short 20-minute boat ride from Georgia's coast. But in some ways, it seems much farther.

    The bumpy, unpaved dirt roads are a constant reminder that this is an island with few services. There are no police officers, fire rescue personnel, doctors or hospitals. There is no school or post office. People drive their garbage to a single garbage compactor. There are no grocery stores. The gas station is open only on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

    A ferry makes three round trips each day, with the last departure from the mainland at 5:30 p.m.


    Cornelia Bailey has been one of the loudest defenders of the island where she was born and raised.
    She's the ninth generation of her family to live on the island, whose slave roots are traced back to Angola. She said the taxes on her one acre property have gone from $600 a year to about $2,300.

    "All these years of getting nothing, then all of a sudden, they want to lay this tax on your back and still not give you nothing," she said. "For the last three years, we've been paying $128 a year for garbage collection. I don't even have my green garbage can. Where's my can?"

    She added, with a hint of anger in her voice, "You can call 911, but nobody gonna squeal up to your front door, so forget it."

    Tax Assessors Board Chairman James Larkin suggests the Sapelo residents brought this issue on themselves, as some began to sell their property to developers and non-islanders who built bigger, upscale vacation homes, causing valuations to increase, and along with them their property taxes. "If they hadn't started selling their property, there wouldn't be a problem," he told CNN.

    But Reginald Hall isn't buying that argument. He and his family own three properties on more than seven acres of property on the island. The assessed "fair market value" of their property went from $176,075 in 2011 to $910,333 in 2012. That brought on increase of more than 500% in property taxes. He is refusing to pay the taxes and he refuses to sell his family land, which he says is worth over $3 million.
    1. They have none of the service property taxes are supposed to pay for.
    2. The tax assessor blames them because some chose to sell their property to developers who then built upscale homes.
    3. These homes have been in the same family for 150 years.


    What do you think of the situation?

  2. #2
    Community Host
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    13,781

    Default

    I do not know all of the details, but that big of a tax increase does not seem reasonable. It is not the fault of the people who did not sell that some of their neighbors sold.

    ~Bonita~

  3. #3
    Prolific Poster
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    2,224

    Default

    If they don't have any services that taxes provide I don't understand how it would be so high.

    I think now that it's becoming desirable for large homes and vacation spots...it's a let's get rid of the the original people on this island as fast as we can.

    I feel bad for these people.
    Mom to Elizabeth (6) and Corinne (4)

+ Reply to Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
v -->

About Us | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Sitemap | Terms & Conditions