Tryon taxpayers house found to be outside city limits

Published 12:40 pm Tuesday, October 5, 2010

John and Linda Douglas have been living and paying Tryon taxes at 260 Jackson Street for 37 years and just recently found out they dont live in city limits.

Tryon Town Council met last week and agreed to proceed with accepting a voluntary annexation request from the Douglas couple. Council set a public hearing for Oct. 19 at 7 p.m.

Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples said hes known the Douglas for years and thought all along they were in city limits.

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Town manager Justin Hembree says the tax office recently did a discovery and found that the parcel was outside city limits.

These folks have been paying taxes and gotten services, Hembree said.

By statute, if a property is found to be inside city limits, a town may go back five years and collect back taxes. In the Douglas case, the town may have to refund the last five years of taxes, but the difference in what outside water and sewer rates would have been has not yet been determined. Hembree said he is going to review the numbers for the Douglas to see if being annexed is more beneficial to them. For Tryon, the difference could be a wash due to outside water and sewer services being more expensive than inside city limit rates. Hembree reported that the Douglas figured out the difference and said it would be more beneficial for them to be inside city limits. Plus, the couple said last week, theyve always thought they were Tryon residents and want to continue to be.

The town requested and the Douglas agreed to annex both properties owned. One property is partly inside city limits and partly outside, while the parcel the Douglas house sits on and is completely outside city limits. John Douglas says theyve been paying inside city limit taxes on all the property he owns for the last 37 years. If the Douglas didnt include the section of the one parcel outside city limits, but the parcel their house sits on, the house annexation would be a satellite annexation, which the town says it wants to avoid.