CONCORD, N.C. -- People come to Cinnamon Hills to retire and live without hassles, but a hassle is what they’ve gotten.
Betty Montgomery and her neighbors got a letter from the Cabarrus County Tax Collector explaining that the 3.34 acres of woods in the middle of their subdivision has back taxes owed on it and the county now suddenly wants its money.
How much? $8,044.
“It made us angry,” Montgomery said. “We talked to a lot of neighbors and I don’t know anyone that likes it.”
“If there was a problem, why wait all these years to bring it up?,” she added.
The property deed from 1991 shows the builder, Millbridge Inc., deeding the land over to the Cinnamon Hills Homeowners Association. But the HOA never formed—no election, no board, no dues, no nothing for the past 20 years.
Amy Hawkins is with Cabarrus County and says just because a homeowners association is inactive doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist and doesn’t mean it isn’t legally responsible for the taxes.
Cabarrus County says the builder bowed out without completing the tax exempt status of the wooded area. So quietly and without notice, taxes began to mount. The county is now threatening to put liens on all the homes in the neighborhood or auction off the land to pay the taxes, which presents another problem.
“I’m extremely worried about it. Who knows what could be built back there. It’s a very desirable location,” said neighbor Jeff McKinney.
The county is scrambling to settle the concerns of the neighborhood and has scheduled a meeting to discuss the issue Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the County Government Center in downtown Concord.