State News

DOT board member owes Wilmington $377K in back taxes

Posted March 27, 2012 8:36 a.m. EDT
Updated March 28, 2012 7:29 p.m. EDT

— An Internet sweepstakes business operated by a member of the state Board of Transportation owes Wilmington nearly $400,000 in unpaid taxes on the machines.

The StarNews of Wilmington reports (http://bit.ly/GSgwM3) it's unclear if Gov. Beverly Perdue knew about the debt when she appointed Brunswick County developer George Sloane to the board last year.

The state's application for boards and commissions asks whether a person or any company they control owes back taxes to any government entity. Perdue's office would not release Sloane's completed form, saying it's a private personnel document.

Sloane says his attorneys are talking to Wilmington officials about their claim for $377,000 in privilege license taxes and late fees.

Wilmington started taxing sweepstakes machines in 2010 while the industry fights a state law banning them as gambling operations.

Perdue said Wednesday that she didn't know about the back taxes when she appointed Sloane.

"Every taxpayer who owes money in North Carolina ought to pay their taxes, or we're going to come get them – and that includes my appointees," she said.

A spokesman for the governor said late Wednesday that Sloane remains on the Board of Transportation and that the dispute was between him and Wilmington.