Company owned by Saffo was suspended two years ago

Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Records show that Hanover Realty, the company owned by Wilmington's Mayor Bill Saffo, was suspended by the Department of Revenue two years ago.

Saffo says he didn't learn until earlier this month that his business had been suspended for a tax issue in October 2007.

"At that time, our accountant did not file a franchise tax fee because there was no activity in that corporation and we should have," said Saffo.  "It was an administrative oversight."

The issue was a hot topic on the Big Talker FM Friday morning.  The station is owned by Saffo's mayoral challenger, Paul Knight.

Knight says that since Saffo is the president of the corporation, he has allowed it to become suspended.

"He obviously had some tax issues that caused a suspension," said Knight.

Saffo said he paid all necessary fees, including fines and interest, once he learned about the suspension.  That bill totaled more than $350.

Thursday, the secretary of state issued Hanover Realty a certificate of reinstatement.

"We don't know why it took them eight years from 2000 to pick up on that small amount," said Saffo.  "We've been filing every single year.  When we were notified, it kind of caught us by surprise.  As soon as we were notified, we paid it."

An official with the Department of Revenue said if a business is sent a notification of revenue suspension, it's always delivered by mail.  If a business doesn't comply, the department can seize its assets.

Saffo claims the first, and only, notification his office received was just delivered earlier in October.  The official with the Department of Revenue said he could not comment on any specific case.

None of Saffo's assets at Hanover Realty have been seized.

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