Tribal land closer to being tax-exempt

Published 11:03 am Tuesday, August 28, 2012

COURTLAND—Southampton County supervisors on Monday voted 6-0 to hold a public hearing for waiving real estate taxes on 100 acres of Indian tribal land near Courtland.

Appearing for a second time since February before the supervisors, Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe Chief Walt “Red Hawk” Brown requested the tax-exempt status for property on Old Bridge Road.

The Tribe Heritage Foundation purchased the land from International Paper in 2009 for $135,000. Current taxes on the property, where the 324-member tribe is developing a cultural, educational and religious center, are $794 per year.

Brown indicated that work is under way, including the development of interpretative trails and a picnic area.

“We have been working real hard on this property and have invested more than $275,000 on raising money,” Brown said. “We put in for a number of grants and are in the process of putting up the round houses.”

A registered non-profit, the tribe’s Heritage Foundation also has planted 20,000 native longleaf pines. Plans also call for developing a Cattashowrock village and a museum with more than 2,000 artifacts.

The hearing will be held during the board’s 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24, meeting at the County Government Center in Courtland.

Supervisors during their February meeting denied scheduling a hearing because they wanted to know more about the plans for the property, including seeing a site plan.