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To vote or not to vote on NHC sales tax referendum

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The city of Wilmington has said “no” to what some New Hanover County leaders call a “good deal.”

The county wants to put a quarter-cent sales tax referendum on the November ballot.

It would be the only county-wide item on the ballot. A county-wide vote would cost $180,000 to conduct, so county leaders asked the city of Wilmington to split the cost.

City leaders say that won’t work. It’s municipal election typically costs less than paying half the cost for a county-wide ballot.

It’s also the first run for a new election system that may be clouded by a county ballot option.

“We are saving $75,000 and doing away with the October election, and having a November without run-off, and just simplifying the process and having a November election,” said City Council member Margaret Hanes.

“I think they were afraid that a sales tax would negatively effect their chances to run for election, and it shouldn’t be about that, it should be about the citizens,” said Jason Thompson, the vice chairman of the NHC Commission.

The next opportunity for the county to put up the sales tax referendum will be their next election in 2010.

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New Hanover County wants to put a quarter-cent sales tax referendum on the November ballot.

It would be the only county-wide item on the ballot. A county-wide vote would cost $180,000 to conduct, so county leaders asked the city of Wilmington to split the cost. However, city officials aren’t buying it.

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Associated poll

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