IRS hits Saint Augustine's with nearly $7.9 million lien

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Friday, March 1, 2024
IRS hits Saint Augustine's with nearly $7.9 million lien
That tax lien halts any plans to sell off university property to deal with the mounting financial hardships at the HBCU.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Saint Augustine's University is still in good standing on the state level, even though the school owes millions of dollars to the federal government and the Internal Revenue Service placed a lien on the property, according to the North Carolina Secretary of State's Office.

The IRS filed a nearly $7.9 million lien for unpaid taxes dating to 2020.

A spokesperson for the IRS told ABC11 that the agency cannot comment further on the cases, citing federal law.

RELATED: Saint Augustine's students, staff left to deal with uncertain future amid accreditation worry

That lien halts any plans to sell off property to deal with the financial hardships.

Interim President Dr. Marcus Burgess said in an internal email, "We are pursuing several opportunities around our greatest asset, our land."

The Secretary of State's Office said Saint Augustine's registered as a nonprofit and because of that, the University is not required to submit an annual report.

A spokesperson said the school was "current and active with the agency."

The revelation of the tax lien was the latest in a series of significant issues for the Historically Black College and University (HBCU).

An audit showed that $10 million was unaccounted for in the school's financial records.

This past Tuesday, St Augustine's lost its appeal to retain its accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, putting the HBCU's accreditation in jeopardy.

After previously reported payroll issues, student James Pettes said that his professor alluded in class that they're still waiting on paychecks.

"My teacher didn't really tell me, but she hinted at like not really getting paid," said Pettes. "She says she's still going to still teach until she gets something."