Indian tribal land gets tax-exempt status

Published 9:23 am Wednesday, September 26, 2012


COURTLAND—The Southampton County supervisors on Monday voted 6-0 to waive real estate taxes on 100 acres of Indian tribal land near Courtland.

The Tribe Heritage Foundation purchased the land on Old Bridge Road from International Paper in 2009 for $135,000. The 324 members of Cheroenhaka Nottoway Indian tribe plan to develop a cultural, educational and religious center there. The tribe has planted 20,000 native longleaf pines and will build a Cattashowrock village, a wellness center and a museum with more than 2,000 artifacts.

Chief Walt “Red Hawk” Brown asked that the $100,000 property be exempt from $750 in real estate taxes.

Brown told supervisors the development would bring 100,000 to 150,000 tourists to the area over the next two to three years.

Franklin District Supervisor Barry Porter said not all non-profit organizations are exempt from paying taxes.

Porter made the comment after resident Nick Kitchen expressed concerns about the exemption setting a precedent.

“This property will be worth more than the $750 a year,” said Berlin/Ivor Supervisor Ronnie West. “I say come on, bring more money into the area from tourism.”