• Birkdale golf course shut down for not paying taxes, police say

    By: Greg Suskin

    Updated:

    HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. - Mecklenburg County court documents show that Birkdale golf course in Huntersville owed the state about $64,000 in unpaid taxes.

    Since those certificates of tax liability were filed in March, it's not clear how much the owners of the course have paid.
    Eyewitness news has reported on past issues at Birkdale. There were complaints about the condition of the course, and employees who said they weren't being paid on time.

    On Tuesday, agents from the North Carolina Department of Revenue shut down the course on Sam Furr road. A sign taped to the clubhouse door said it was closed for non-payment of taxes.

    The locks were pulled from the doors, and left on the ground. The department of revenue said that's standard procedure when a civil warrant is served on a business.

    Only Eyewitness News was there when golfers like Jamie Mosteller were ordered to stop playing, and leave.

    "We were out playing with a bunch of friends, and the marshal came by and told us that we had to leave," Mosteller said.

    As the carts came rolling back to the clubhouse, others said they couldn't believe their round of golf ended this way.

    "They told us to finish up what we were doing, and get out of here," said Todd Wilcox.

    Department of revenue spokesman Trevor Johnson said a civil warrant is issued as a last resort, when a business has had several opportunities to pay taxes owed, and has not paid. He could not say how long Birkdale was given to pay its taxes before being shut down.

    Birkdale owner Jeff Silverstein told Channel 9 by phone that the course missed a $27,000 tax payment last month.

    He said it was his own fault, but said the golf course will be open again Wednesday morning, and everything will be corrected.

    One Birkdale employee said off camera that he once had issues with being paid on time, but that things were better now. He said he didn't know what to make of seeing the course closed on Tuesday.

    Johnson said the course could reopen tomorrow if the owners can pay the taxes they owe the state.

    The public golf course sells memberships to players. Mosteller said it was $5,000 for a five-year membership, and he knew friends who paid money upfront for lifetime memberships.

    "My first thought was wow! We're members. What's gonna happen to us?" he said.


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