Elizabeth Manor Golf and Country Club, a private 18-hole golf course in Portsmouth, Virginia, did not pay real estate taxes from at least 2003 until the mistake was discovered and corrected in 2022.

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The golf course was eligible for lowered taxes under an open-space agreement with the city, but it had all of its taxes abated instead of being charged the reduced rate.

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The mistake came to light when City Assessor Patrick Dorris, who noticed the error, was terminated by City Council members. This led to a heated discussion during a council meeting about how the oversight occurred.

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Virginia legislation from the 1970s allows localities to provide tax relief to landowners who preserve agricultural, horticulture, forestry, and open space lands through a use value assessment program.

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 The owners of Elizabeth Manor Golf and Country Club, Elizabeth Manor Golf Investors II LLC, took over the course in 2020. They claim they can't speak about what happened before their ownership.

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Two adjacent properties to the golf course were not part of the program and were assessed at fair market value, resulting in the owners paying over $29,000 in taxes in 2022.

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Former City Assessor Mary Culpepper stated that she understood the abatement of taxes to be the "normal" practice, citing various documents and correspondence that referred to the golf course as "non-taxable."

City Council member Mark Whitaker called for further investigation by the city attorney's office to determine if back taxes are owed. He emphasized the importance of addressing the issue, especially considering the financial struggles faced by some residents who are required to pay their taxes or risk losing their properties.