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Stop excessive tax increases on African American Gullah-Geechee Community land

This petition had 114 supporters

Please sign this petition to help Africa American slave descendants of Hog Hammock, Georgia save their land from being taxed excessively and remain on their historical property. After reading a newspaper article on Jan. 30, 2012, I became interested in trying to help save this historical African American community. A tiny community of 50 residents in McIntosh Co., Georgia are being taxed off their historical land. Hog Hammock’s dirt roads and modest homes cover less than a square mile on Sapelo Island. One land owner saw his tax increase from $200 per year to $2,700 this year for two (2) acres of undeveloped property. Another land owner has paid $600 per yr. for one (1) acre as long as he can remember and received a tax bill last year for $2,100. The residents say the tax hike is potentially burdensome enough to wipe out one of the Southeast coast’s last remaining Gullah-Geechee communities from North Carolina to Florida. This area is made up of slave descendants who have remained isolated from the mainland. The Gullah-Geechee culture is prized for having clung to its African roots and traditions more than any other in America. In 1996 the federal government added Hog Hammock to its list of historically significant treasures, the National Register of Historic Places. It is reachable mainly by ferry. There is no school, no paved roads, no trash pickup and no police station. Why the increase? The county appraisers insist they are just doing their jobs, valuing homes according to market demands and sale prices of land in the community. The resident feel they are being unfairly priced off their land because in 2010 a handful of Hog Hammock landowners sold their properties for $165,000 for a one half (½) acre to wealthier mainland buyers wanting to build houses near the water.

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