Hope Island boasts a mansion.
A WHOLE island could be all yours for just over $10 million, complete with a mansion, church and tavern.
The stunning piece of land just off the coast of Maine in the US is being sold by the owners who originally bought it in the hope they could build their own town and avoid taxes.
The escape to the island turned out to be a failed venture for developer John Cacoulidis and his wife. After buying the island, property taxes quintupled over eight years and they decided to secede from Cumberland County in Maine, which covers Portland and other nearby cities.
But the Cumberland County refused the island’s secession, leaving Mr Cacoulidis with a town with a population of two that still had to pay exorbitant taxes.
He bought the island, which is known as Hope Island and Magical Island Kingdom, in 1993 for A$1.7m.
Hope Island is about 25 minutes from Portland. Picture: Christie’s International Real Estate
Mr Cacoulidis told the Associated Press in 2001 he was sick of not getting anything back from the amount of taxes he paid so planned to create an island of hope for people to flee to.
Other Maine islands, including Long Island and Frye Island, has seceded from municipalities in the past, but there was a number of property owners, unlike the two on Hope Island.
“This isn’t a community. This is one big summer place owned by one rich family,” Cumberland County’s lawyer, Kenneth Cole III, said at the time.
He said Mr Cacoulidis had a “one-in-a-million chance” of succeeding in his case.
The island owner said he wasn’t against taxes, but didn’t want to pay as much as he was required to in Cumberland County.
“We’re not against taxes, but if they tax me and give me zero services, that’s my beef,” he said.
Cacoulidis used to live full time on the island, but is no longer using the island like he had in the past so he’s selling. His wife Phyllis, who helped turn the island into a working farm, died last year at the age of 89
After buying the island Mr Cacoulidis developed it, building a guesthouse, boathouse with apartment, roads, horse stables, a chicken coop and a tavern.
Taxes cost him about A$9000 when he first bought the island, but a year later after some development, the Cumberland County charged him about A$50,000.
Mr Cacoulidis believes he was being taxed because they thought: “he’s from New York. He has money”.
“They tax me for everything — I have no (public) transportation, no telephone, no electricity, no rubbish removal, no schools,” he told AP.
However the Cacoulidis family did run a power line to the island for electricity and used mobile phones. They hired somebody to remove their rubbish.
In 2001 the Cacoulidis family lost its case.
The real estate listing says, “No expense was spared creating this magical island kingdom”.
The property includes an a 1,049-square-metre main house with six bathrooms and three bedrooms. It also features a 10-stall horse barn, a tavern for entertaining, a private chapel and a boathouse with a deepwater pier.
The property in Casco Bay is a 25-minute boat ride from Portland. The real estate agent tells the Portland Press Herald Mr Cacoulidis is no longer using the island like he had in the past. His wife died last year.