Residents in Brandy Creek and Wallace Fork are suing Halifax County, Roanoke Rapids and Weldon City Schools, seeking a refund of what they say were illegally inflated property taxes collected in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
A release sent by attorney Mark Dorosin, of UNC Center for Civil Rights, details the legal action.
“Residents of the community filed a lawsuit Friday 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,” the release said. “After the 2007 property revaluation, their land values and property taxes went up an average of over 800 percent and as high as 1,400 percent, an intense hardship which decimated the community.
“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 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 release said. “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 benefitted 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.”
Attorney Bettina Roberts-Flood, who practices in Halifax and is representing the residents pro bono according to the release, is assisting the UNC Center for Civil Rights in the lawsuit.