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Barber-Scotia College loses tax exemption on most of its campus property

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Barber-Scotia was founded in 1867. The historically Black college is trying to rebuild and gain its accreditation back.

Barber-Scotia College received a notice last month that most of the land and buildings that make up its campus in Concord are no longer tax-exempt. That puts the historically Black college on the hook for an estimated $127,613 at a time when it’s trying to rebuild and earn its accreditation back after losing it in 2004.

Cabarrus County tax administrator David Thrift says that the assessment came from reviewing statements from the school and observing boarded-up buildings on the campus. By statute, a building or property must be “wholly and exclusively used for educational purposes” to qualify for a tax exemption.

“Certainly, the vacant properties that have no buildings and then the buildings that are not in use, we felt were not being wholly and exclusively used for that purpose," Thrift said.

The administration building, library, chapel and a parking lot on the campus were granted tax-exempt status.

WSOC first reported that 14 of the college’s 24 parcels did not meet the statutory requirements for a tax exemption. School leaders did not respond to requests for comment, but Board of Trustees Chair Roberta Pinckney told the Charlotte Observer she’s hopeful the college will regain tax-exempt status through the appeals process.

Last year, Barber-Scotia College told the county it had 4 to 6 students enrolled in online classes.

Major support for WFAE's Race & Equity Team comes from Novant Health and Wells Fargo.


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Lisa Worf traded the Midwest for Charlotte in 2006 to take a job at WFAE. She worked with public TV in Detroit and taught English in Austria before making her way to radio. Lisa graduated from University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in English.