Pine Knoll Shores

April 29, 2020

TO THE EDITOR:

As a reader of the News-Times you are well familiar with the swirl of discussion involving the decision of Bogue Banks mayors to impede the use of property by second home owners. Agreeably, their purpose is well intentioned. It is intended to benefit the small population that calls the island a permanent home. Unfortunately, the mayors are using the property of second homeowners to benefit permanent residents.

The headline of the Sunday, February 23 News-Times declared that “Primary Shareholders of Beach Towns Are Second Homeowners”. In that article, Pine Knoll Shores Town Manager Brian Kramer informs us that second homeowners provide 72% of the town’s tax base. Mr. Kramer estimates that 2,700 individuals represent second homeowner families in the town. He also estimates the town to have 1,400 permanent residents. Mr. Kramer reports that “the people (second homeowners) … believe it is unfair that they pay taxes but have no representation.” Mr. Kramer informs us that “…in my 13 years here I have never seen the elected body (the Town Commissioners) take action specifically in the interest of one group or another.” I will speak to the actions of Pine Knoll Shores, since this is the town within which my property is located.

While ennobled by the interest of maintaining the health of permanent residents, the mayor and town commissioners have denied second homeowners the right to use their property. In effect, second homeowners cannot use their property while the town is using the management of that property for the purposes of protecting a small population of town residents.

My issue here is not to debate whether the Town of Pine Knoll Shores was right or wrong to seize control of private property. The issue is that second homeowners lost that control via a decision of the town’s elected officials. We live in a democracy, and we value the ownership and use of private property. If circumstance commands government action that stops us from using our property, we too, as property owners are owned some form of recompense. My property has value. We all pay utility bills, taxes, insurance bills and mortgage payments. If we cannot use our property due to the decision of a municipal government, we should be compensated for the loss of that usage.

North Carolina is a Dillon’s Rule state. In a Dillon’s Rule state, local governments have no constitutional authority. They are special purpose organizations empowered by the Legislature. In effect, they are corporations. They do not have traditional rights to seize control of private property. In times of necessity, such as now, they, like any other corporate entity have a responsibility to reconcile their incursions into the rights of property owners. In sum, pay me for the use of my property.

As a good citizen, I have honored the issuances of Mayor Ken Jones. I have had no problems with not visiting my property. The Mayor, in return, has shown no hesitance to bill me for municipal utilities and to continue with tax assessments that charge me for property the town is using.

There are reciprocal expectations here. If I cannot use my property and I am still faced with paying for the cost of it, the Town of Pine Knoll Shores should compensate all second homeowners for the use of their property at a fair market rate. Let the taxpayers who benefited from the actions and decisions of the town absorb the cost.

If a unit of government takes control of your property and uses it for its chartered purposes, are you willing to sacrifice the financial loss? Or, would you expect government to provide fair compensation for that loss?

John Mandeville, Ph.D.

PKS Second Homeowner

(28) comments

DeadBolt

Well, they have deemed you as 'non essential', possibly if you have some insight on the scam a demic going around, you may , one day, be allowed to re-purchase your used to be second place? (lets face it, if you do not need it, the politicians may as well, re-sell it to the next one in line?

DennyC

I do get the taxation without representation argument, but I think you failed to make your case that your property was seized. Couldn't you have gone to use your property at any time? What you are really complaining about is that you would have had to quarantine for 14 days if you used your property.

beachmami13

[thumbup]

Erasmus

Yes this letter is really an extended whine

A suggestion: use the time you can’t come here-an unfortunate but needed step to keep everyone safe-and volunteer for a local food bank. There is a huge unemployment rate, 1 in 5 children don’t have enough to eat and they could use your help right now.

Buddy Boatbuilder

They've violated your constitutional rights. Freedom loving, second home owning, Americans need to do their democratic duty and sue these criminals.

Osprey

Gov Cooper issued travel restrictions and PKS did not seize your property. The restrictions are precautions and for the safety of local residents.....

(Edited by staff.)

fedup1388

As a property owner Sir & other property owners you let them get away with this unlawful act!!! I have seen no reason why said property owners could not access their own property. Now this weekend, Atlantic Beach open the some parking on the circle. Is it that one side of the road had no chance of the virus & the other side did. However said people had to walk thru the closed parking areas to access the Ocean. As you stated you were denied acess to the property you own, pay taxes on, and for them most part spend most of the year here. Now You sir are deemed as a THREAT to the town you so much love. WAKE UP AND CHANGE THE VOTING LAWS IN YOUR TOWNS!!!! You and outside property owners outnumber year round residents by far!!!! Do something or get ready for futher action of same in future.

David Collins

And just where do you start this suit ? Trump , Cooper , commissioners and or the mayor ? How about China and the WHO ? Heck sue everyone !

David Collins

You vote where your primary residence is located . Only ! That is the way it is and should be . Before you advocate for changing any laws , especially voting laws , you just might calm down and consider any possible negative effects that could happen . Chances are pretty good they will happen .

NC-Native-Son

I have no sympathy for non-resident owners of local property.

Will they bring enough toilet paper for everyone?

reelalist

Then do you wish to pay their taxes NC?

DeadBolt

Well, if they 'choose' to own a second home they ARE WELL AWARE that the location and fee's of said home , be it #1 or # 2 , comes with the JOY OF OWNERSHIP, and no the government is not in the 'give us all a second home business' .<------------ Sorry.

DeadBolt

In other news, i would like to say that alot of folks who use that 'software' called ZOOM, which is an alleged video conference program, well , it is basic, but the software is owned by China, and the founder is a Chinese Commie. [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Yuan#cite_note-forbes-1 ] Simply check his 'personal life' and college. Um, yup, your computers are compromised. (so is your data) [wink] Careful who is snooping. [ninja]

Osprey

Based on the authors argument everytime there is an evacuation order property owners can sue the government to obtain compensation.

David Collins

To be sure you are not falling for this realist . I’ll bet that this guy could have used his house but could not leave it for 14 days . Taxes pay for keeping things up and running whether you are there or not . Just the way it works and he knows it . ...

(Edited by staff.)

beachmami13

Perhaps while we are on the subject of homeowners not being able to access everything their taxes pay for, we should look at the ad valorem tax issue. While the areas that have the most population, MHC, Newport and Beaufort, are growing, they still don't receive their equitable share of taxes per their population. They also have to PAY to use the public parking in the beachside communities that get the benefit of those taxes. Instead of PKS and EI being able to benefit even further from those paid parking spots, we should be entitled to free parking at the beach (and I guess Beaufort too) if we live in that county. We should also change the tax situation to take into consideration the growing population in those areas and not allow the beachside communities to further benefit from those taxes. Let's sue too! ;)

https://www.carolinacoastonline.com/news_times/article_8dc962e6-6626-11ea-b1d9-3b2b706a42d2.html[beam][beam][beam]

Buddy Boatbuilder

Barring non-resident property owners from accessing their properties in PKS was unlawful. Plain and simple. Any time a government restricts fundamental liberties, there needs be a very compelling reason. That reason did not exist in PKS at the time nor did it exist in the state of North Carolina… nor was there any indication that it might exist. There is a longer conversation about what actions would be lawful if the reason for action did exist but there is no sense in having that conversation since the reason for action did not exist… To the folks that support the town’s action, read the constitution. Learn about the country you live in. If after that, you still wish to forfeit your freedoms / trade your rights for the whims of elected strangers, go for it. You might enjoy Canada. But don’t ruin the good thing - that is this great country that many have fought and died for - for the rest of us. To the non-resident property owners who are owed compensation for the unlawful taking of their properties, you need to file a claim.

DeadBolt

This is a sick joke, and the right folks are watching, but, all you wanting to sue, simply watch what has happened in a very short time, [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=i9pCEnEqaz8&feature=emb_logo ] now, after seeing this, do you all really want a court to help, do you even want a daddy called government? TAKE IT BACK BEFORE THEY DESTROY YOU UTTERLY. And, please stop acting like psyco nut jobs, ITS A FAKE STORY.

klacy

Your constitutional rights do not include the right to endanger the life and welfare of another individual. By coming from “off”, the possibility exists for endangering the local population. Let’s hope and pray that when all the vacation rentals start back up we aren’t the next hot spot.

David Collins

Hope we are not negatively impacted by the summer hoards but those supposedly in the know have painted a bullseye on the Crystal Coast . Only time will tell but things could get ugly quickly .

SandFiddler

Things could get ugly quick. Sad to say, but it will take the virus hitting close to home to some officials before they come to their senses about opening up to the droves from upstate. The "PHD PKS 2nd homeowner" should understand why things have been closed during a pandemic, understand why certain things happen during such an event, and should not expect special favor. His primary residence is elsewhere. If he doesn't like the way things are done, sell the 2nd home and find one elsewhere. I'm sure the "small population of permanent residents" will be glad that he and other 2nd home owners are gone. I'm also not sure why he expects not to receive bills for municipal utilities during a pandemic and/or other disaster if we should have one. Permanent residents are billed for such even though they have to evacuate for hurricanes. This is a typical situation of how people from "off" come down here and want everything to change to accommodate them even though they are not a permanent resident. In agreement with Osprey's comment "Based on the authors argument everytime there is an evacuation order property owners can sue the government to obtain compensation." I'll keep that in mind when we are evacuated for the next hurricane.

noitall

TAXATION without representation. Simple enough? It is a Constitutional protection and is not suspended because a bunch of bureaucrats need some easy money. The local politicians have no legal rights to confiscate other peoples money just because.

David Collins

Come on here , give it a rest . Nothing was confiscated here . No one used anything . The place was under quarantine . Do you know what that means ? Right or by mistake the officials acted on the best info. available at the time . That is what they were elected to do and what they did . No one asked you to like it . That is what happens when elections are held . Deal with it and move on . Might want to be more concerned when you see NY and NJ license plates around your town .

Osprey

Taxation without representation ? How does this apply to the Governors stay at home order ? Nobody's right to vote has been revoked.

CARTERETISCORRUPT

It amazes me how "others" rights are minimized by some here. The fact remains that the owners have the right to go to their property. There is no other way to state it. The government has far over reached its authority by law or moral ethics. Otherwise, where do we draw the line folks?

ps201fall

Some thoughts here. First, the author never disagrees with the Town's policy. He even stays away. Second, this is not a regular evac/disaster. In that case, everybody (100%) is told to leave. Here, 25% benefit. The other 75% do not, yet they pay through the loss of use of their property. Yeah, they can go to PKS. How many of you want to report in to the police and not be able to leave the house for two weeks? The town intends to keep you away. No qualifiers. If the town is intentionally impeding the use of property for 75% of the owners to benefit 25% of the owners the town needs to set it right with the 75% discriminated against. Simple as that. The town is using control of the second homeowners property for the benefit of a few. The few, by the way, can leave the island at their leisure and return without any scrutiny. One town employee on line was encouraging permanent residents to travel to Wayne County to buy strawberries. Wayne County has a very high Covid 19 infection rate. The author has no problem with the town's intent. However, since the property of the many is being used to benefit the few, and the many do not have the freedoms of the few, the town needs to make it right.

David Collins

Second homeowners should be allowed to visit their properties . Saying that , they should be required to quarantine themselves for the period required of us all . They are treated no differently than permanent residents . There is the rub , I believe . Mr. , Ms,s , Dr. , MS , PhD , does not matter . Everyone could be a carrier . Of course , now that it is money season , none of this appears to matter . We will see . Won’t we ?

ps201fall

David, I agree with you. All should be treated the same. Anytime anyone from the island goes to the mainland and returns, they should report to police and then quarantine for fourteen days.

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