Letter to the Editor: An open letter to the Kill Devil Hills and Dare County tax departments

Published 4:46 pm Thursday, November 12, 2020

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Kill Devil Hills Tax and Finance Department

P.O. Box 1719

Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948

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Dare County Department of Taxation

P.O. Box 1000

Manteo, NC 27954


To Whom It Should Concern,

I’m fairly certain that I will not receive a reply to this letter although our feelings should be heard by someone who would possibly care. I am enclosing my check for $4,583.82 as payment of our 2020 real estate taxes, but in protest.

The tax assessment on the property increased 48% and the taxes increased $835.86 annually. When I appealed the tax assessment of $634,000.00 I provided you with the amounts we paid our partners to purchase their interests in 2019. You can check this in your records. Their combined interest was 62.5% which amounted to $267,462.00 which I paid them and furnished to you for my appeal.

I was quite surprised after I provided this information that you increased our assessment even more to $636,200. The town of Kill Devil Hills allowed the developer, SAGA, to build a 28 bedroom monstrosity beside us. This is where a single family residence stood for over 50 years. There is no doubt in my mind that this decreases our property value, not increases it. The property next door to me and another one two parcels north both extend from the ocean front to Virginia Dare Trail. They were both purchased by SAGA to tear down and build their “mini motels” and they needed that much property to squeeze in their project. Our property is a single lot and there are three lots west of us (behind) extending to VA Dare Trail. The price SAGA paid for the two “project” properties should not have a bearing on my property value. They paid excessively because they were buying them to make a profit for their construction company.

We talked with the KDH Planning Commission and spoke at the supervisors meeting and all we received were a few sympathetic “NODS”. It was quite apparent that KDH was in SAGA’s pocket!! It was also quite apparent that neither Dare County nor KDH care about the old established residents and the preservation of this beautiful beach.

My wife and I are in our 80’s, picked up lots of debris off the beach, and have been good stewards of our environment. We can kiss it goodbye now because of you and just be thankful for the good old days.

With Disappointment,

Russell E. Rutan and Dorothy T. Rutan

Staunton, VA

Cc: The Coastland Times