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ONLY ON 3: Did state make mistake that could cost New Hanover $1 million?

READ MORE: ONLY ON 3: Did state make mistake that could cost New Hanover $1 million?

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It's a million-dollar question: What is the state Board of Elections required to do so New Hanover County can move forward to collect a sales tax voters approved?

We reported last night the county was moving forward to certify the vote after the state formally notified former County Commission candidate Justin LaNasa by mail that his appeal of the vote had been denied. We have now learned that the way LaNasa was served by mail may not be adequate under the law. Plus, LaNasa says New Hanover County deputies drove to Greensboro last night to serve him in person at a relative's house.

"About 10 p.m. I received a call from my brother," LaNasa said, "and he told me that the New Hanover County Sheriff's (deputies) and the Guilford County Sheriff's (deputies) were at his door with a white piece of paper trying to serve me. They said it was non-criminal, and it was nothing to worry about, but they just have to give me this piece of paper. Where was Justin LaNasa?"

LaNasa is on vacation out of state. County and state officials have been trying to track him down to serve him with paperwork that his appeal of May's sales tax vote was rejected. Since they haven't been able to find him, they've taped a copy of the paperwork to the door of his house in Monkey Junction. July 1, the state Board of Elections also mailed him a copy of their decision and said the county can certify the tax increase 13 days after the paperwork was mailed.

"They just want to put the rumor out that they served me and that way I might come back from vacation early or come back home," LaNasa said.

The law says LaNasa must be served "personally, or through delivery by US mail, or a designated delivery service... if that delivery provides a record of the date and time of delivery." The general counsel for the state Board of Election told us he simply mailed the notice through regular mail, and did not request delivery confirmation. Despite extreme efforts to serve LaNasa in person, the county insists LaNasa's already been served as far as it's concerned.

"We have no concerns," Assistant County Manager Chris Coudriet said. "We contend that it was appropriately served, our reading of the statute, and we have the opinion of five different attorneys that he was served appropriately through the US mail."

If that's not adequate under the law, and LaNasa doesn't think it is, it may mean the county has to wait until January 1 to begin collecting the tax instead of October. The lost revenue during the fall, including the holidays, could cost the county almost $1 million.

LaNasa is not finished fighting this. Once he is served by the state Board of Elections, he plans to appeal to Wake County Superior Court, which is the next court of appeal in an election process. The NC Conservative Coastal Coalition is helping LaNasa raise money for legal fees to fight the sales tax. You can contribute in increments as small as five dollars. Make checks payable to NC CCC and put "Fund to Fight Sales Tax" in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to NC CCC, 116 N. Front Street, Unit 1, Wilmington, NC 28401.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Way to go Justin

Way to go Justin, if this can't go through then property taxes will be raised and only the locals will foot the bill. With the sames tax increase vacationer will pay and that will lower the home owners taxes. What a Dumb A$$ you are for doing this......

Hey Einstein, that already happened......

....or can you read the news? The commission voted to raise the property tax the day AFTER the sales tax increase was voted in, that's called double dipping. It's one of the reasons Justin is standing up and doing what is right!!! So, if you really want to see a "Dumb A$$" as you so eloquently state it, face a mirror and say "AHHHHHH..." or look the term up in the dictionary. Your picture will be displayed beside it.

Weak minded, mamby pamby pushovers like yourself are exactly what the NHC commission counts on. Now, go rest yourself in your comfy recliner and wait for Obama to speak to you.


So you people think it OK for this guy to waste tax payers money on something that the majority of the people voted for. The way you people act you think this tax is gonna break you. When you spend $100 it will cost you an extra nickel.

It isn't the cost of the tax, it is the method used to get it!

Nobody likes being hoodwinked, Nobody likes being lied to. THAT is what the commission did and THAT is what the protest is all about.

Don't you stand up for anything anymore or is it just easier and more convenient to be a mamby-pamby, pushover?

And to speak of wasting taxpayer dollars? What in the heck do you think Obama is doing by suing Arizona for trying to enforce existing immigration law (that the Feds have refused to do!). I paid over 25K in federal taxes last year to watch it being eaten up over frivolous lawsuits like this hits a HUGE nerve!

It's all about money, power and votes. It isn't about New Hanover County and it isn't about the Unites States of America as long as Obama is on his crash course!

Buy a clue

And if it does go through property taxes will still go up because the current county clowns can't manage money. Now property owners get to pay twice, one in property taxes and then when we shop.

LaNasa is a Hero!

Way to go Justin!

You're raising the blood pressure of our corrupt county commissioners, especially the one's who pushed the sales tax, and that's good for the rest of us!

End the corruption...Keep up the fight Justin Lanasa!

(Barfield, Thompson and their media friends will try to demonize you...but America's Founding Father's would be proud of your courageous stand)

Way to go LaNasa. Sounds

Way to go LaNasa. Sounds like this guy has his act together. It is so refreshing to see one person cause so much turmoil to the almighty political machine. Good luck with the appeal, dude!

Way to go LaNasa

I love this guy! He's the kind of citizen we need to keep these local yahoo's straight.

We are talking

a state agency here. If one state agency can not get thousands of income tax returns into the postal system as outlined on their website, why would one assume another state agency could properly mail one piece of mail?

Your state government at work.