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New Hanover commissioners approve sales tax hike

READ MORE: New Hanover commissioners approve sales tax hike
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- More than two months after New Hanover County residents voted yes to a sales tax referendum, County Commissioners met this morning to to make it official. They voted 4-1 to put the quarter-cent sales tax increase into effect. The only commissioner to vote no was Bill Caster.

Caster and Jonathan Barfield were not at the meeting, which was held immediately after the New Hanover County Board of Elections certified the vote. Instead the two commissioners voted via conference call.

The sales tax will go into effect October 1. Meanwhile, former commission candidate Justin LaNasa says he plans to continue to appeal county and state Board of Elections ruling against his challenge to the May 4 vote. That appeal would be heard in Wake County Superior Court.

Here is a copy of a letter LaNasa sent to Thompson Friday morning:

July 16, 2010
Jason Thompson, Chairman
New Hanover County Board of Commissioners
New Hanover County
230 Government Center Dr.
Wilmington, NC 28403

Dear Chairman Thompson and County Commissioners:

Pursuant to my rights as a citizen and taxpayer in New Hanover County in the state of North Carolina, USA, I am requesting that you cease and desist from any action to certify or act upon in any manner the dubious and potentially unlawful referendum to raise the sales tax in New Hanover County. This matter, you are well aware, is subject to ongoing legal action and any actions you take in defiance of that legal process could subject the County and taxpayers to further legal action and the added costs associated with your moving forward in defiance of the legal process.

You are well-aware, and it has been reported frequently in the media, that among the legal issues yet to be resolved is the fact that I was never properly served by the Board of Elections, and any attempt to certify the results of the referendum vote prior to proper service as outlined by North Carolina law is in fact a violation of that law. I hope the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners will respect the law and the legal rights of citizens and refrain from defying that law by meeting to certify or enact the aforementioned referendum at least until such time as all legal questions and voting irregularities have been resolved.

This resolution cannot occur until I have been properly served and the legal process can proceed and any action to defy the process or do an end-run around the law by the County Board would speak volumes about said Board’s respect for the law and the taxpayers of the County.

Please cease and desist.

Sincerely,

Justin LaNasa

Cc: Wanda Copley, New Hanover County Attorney
Jonathan Barfield, New Hanover County Commissioner
Bill Caster, New Hanover County Commissioner
Robert Greer, New Hanover County Commissioner
Ted Davis, New Hanover County Commissioner
Bruce Shell, New Hanover County Manager

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