Tax exemption could be pulled from Barber-Scotia College, Channel 9 learns

CONCORD, N.C. — Cabarrus County could pull the tax exemption status from a college that has been at the center of a years-long Channel 9 investigation.

Barber-Scotia College, a historically Black college in Concord, has faced declining enrollment since losing its accreditation in 2004.

The college has been exempt from paying property taxes due to being used for educational purposes. But Channel 9 has uncovered a letter sent on Dec. 1 to Barber-Scotia from the county tax administrator that reads, “After reviewing all available evidence, I have cause to believe that some, or all, of Barber-Scotia College’s properties in Cabarrus County no longer qualify for exemption.”

The tax administrator, M. David Thrift, is asking the college to submit a new application by Jan. 31. Thrift wants the school to demonstrate its continued eligibility for tax exemption, or it could lose the privilege.

Our partners at the Charlotte Observer reported only four students are currently enrolled at Barber-Scotia, and they all attend college online.

In August, Barber-Scotia College’s interim president Dr. Tracey Flemings gave Channel 9 a campus tour showing where she said 24 students would live and learn in the fall. Channel 9 went to the campus in September to see if students were there. When asked, a worker said no students were staying there, as they were all attending school online.

Channel 9 called the interim president several times for an update, but she didn’t return the calls.

The college was founded in 1867. Many of the buildings have crumbled since and now need millions in repairs.

(WATCH BELOW: Barber Scotia College works to pay off debt, earn back accreditation)