• 50°

Columbia landmark subject of tax troubles

The Columbia Board of Aldermen on Dec. 3 ordered the town’s tax attorney to foreclose on the large structure at 418 Howard Street, once Columbia’s schoolhouse.

The lawn was not mowed during 2018, Rhett White, town manager, told the board. And the number of broken windowpanes in the unoccupied building is growing.

The children of the late Mary Ann Armstrong claim they signed away all their interest in the property when their mother was moved into a nursing home, White reported to the board.

Town attorney Will Crowe explained that the Department of Social Services holds a lien against the property, but that Mrs. Armstrong’s children inherited the title.

The aldermen directed the town’s tax attorney, Mark Bardill of Trenton, to proceed against the heirs for payment of delinquent property tax, which White said amounts to about $30,000 for the town and county.

Bardill, a special tax attorney for 30 years, formed Zacchaeus Legal Services in 2003 to provide property tax foreclosure services for local governments in North Carolina. The office currently serves Tyrrell and 22 other counties, and 10 towns, including Columbia.