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Legal Ethics Lessons from ECU

February 10, 2020

Anyone who has seen the Reese Witherspoon/Matthew Broderick classic high school satire Election knows that it is never a good idea for administrators to mess with student politics.  The recent mini-scandal out of Greenville suggests that at least a few … Continued

Court Prohibits Correction of Appraisal Errors

January 15, 2020

Consider this scenario: Carolina County conducts a reappraisal in 2018 in which Tommy TarHeel’s house is appraised at $300,000.  Tommy pays his 2018 and 2019 tax bills at that appraisal value without complaint. But in 2020 Tommy learns that back … Continued

The Impact of a Property Tax Appellate Decision

December 11, 2019

What is the impact of a property tax appellate decision on tax years following the one under appeal?  That’s the dispute at issue in a recent N.C. Court of Appeals decision that required Graham County to return $45,000 in post-appeal … Continued

Sales Tax 101 for Local Governments

October 31, 2019

I don’t write or teach much about sales taxes, because my colleagues and I here at the School of Government focus on local government issues.  Sales taxes are, for the most part, a state government issue.  The state of North … Continued

City of Albemarle v. Nance: Mountain or Molehill?

October 2, 2019

This past July the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued an opinion that has provoked a wide variety of responses from local government attorneys.  Some fear that the opinion might require local governments across the state to completely revamp how … Continued

Gentrification and Property Tax Relief

August 12, 2019

Downtown Durham is hot.  Millions of square feet of new and renovated residential and commercial properties hit the market this year, including luxury condos atop the city’s new tallest building. By mid-2020, the number of downtown apartments will have more than … Continued

Interest(ing) Questions

June 21, 2019

Pardon the pun, but I couldn’t resist that title for a blog post on the subject of property tax interest.  Usually when we think of interest we think of the additional amount owed by taxpayers who fail to pay their … Continued

Construction in Progress and Property Tax Exemptions

May 2, 2019

If property is under construction, is it being “used” by its owner? That is the arcane but important question that the North Carolina Court of Appeals recently addressed in the Highwater Solar appeal concerning the 80% property tax exclusion available … Continued

The Charitable Hospital Exemption

April 23, 2019

The national trend towards consolidation of the healthcare industry under large providers is very evident across our state. Be it the purchase of western Carolina’s largest non-profit hospital system by an even larger healthcare provider or the continued expansion of … Continued

More Legal Ethics Lessons from Penn State

February 26, 2019

[UPDATE 2/2020: Adopting reasoning similar to mine below, in March 2019 the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board rejected the 2018 ethics report and recommendation and concluded that Baldwin violated the attorney-client privilege held by the three Penn State executives. The Disciplinary Board … Continued