• Board denies tax break for home owned by Moorish temple

    By: Blake Hanson

    Updated:

    MATTHEWS, N.C. - A Mecklenburg County board denied a woman's request for a tax break at a Matthews home she insists is a temple.
     
    Dianne Carter El clashed with Board of Equalization Review members, along with other county officials, at the hearing about her property Tuesday.

    PAST COVERAGE: ‘Moorish Holy Temple’ property mistakenly given religious tax exemption, county says

    Carter claims the home, located within the Matthews Plantation subdivision, hosts displaced members of the Moorish religion, as well as bible studies and holy nights. She also said she lives in the home.

    The County Assessor's Office granted the property an exemption in 2011. It lasted two years. 

    A Channel 9 investigation last week revealed the assessor, Ken Joyner, is looking into getting back the money owed over that time period. He said the home likely did not qualify for an exemption at the time.
     
    But Carter maintained Tuesday that the home qualifies and disputed the authority of the board.
     
    She opened the hearing by asking if there were any elected officials present to rule on the matter. The members of the board are appointed.
     
    "Her trying to challenge the authority of the board is not relevant," said Robert Adden, an attorney representing the county.
     
    Carter went on to argue it would be unconstitutional for the board to deny the exemption and cited the Constitution, North Carolina statutes and the Bible. 

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