Wesley Byrd Hinshaw

                                                 ┌── William Arthur Hinshaw
                                                 │    1886-1962 
                       ┌── Wesley Byrd Hinshaw ──┤
                       │    1907-1980            │
                       │                         └── Leitha Jane Ostwalt
                       │                              1886-1965 
Wesley Byrd Hinshaw ───┤
B: 1932                │
D: 2003                │
                       └── Maybile -
└──── Robert Hinshaw,             1
└──── Michael Hinshaw,             1
└──── Tony Hinshaw,             1
Wesley Byrd Hinshaw     [ID 08881] Click here to switch to Ahnentafel view: Ahnentafel View

Wesley Byrd Hinshaw2 [Byrd Hinshaw, Jr.2]

Born Jan 5 1932.3,4  

The following article was published in the New Bern "Sun Journal" (New Bern, North Carolina) on December 28, 2002:5

Man petitions to inform community, get support

There is at least one sentinel still standing, pushing for Craven County to join a lawsuit against the state that seeks to recover county money withheld to balance the state budget.  

For Byrd Hinshaw, the state's withholding action and the county's inaction attempting to get it back has gotten pretty personal.  

He's calling on other Craven residents to sign a petition in the fight for what he believes is rightfully county money.  He has paid for a copy of the petition to appear in Sunday's Sun Journal.  

Calling the petition to commissioners "Robbery Endorsed," Hinshaw's ad says "this action, stealing the funds, was in direct violation of the N.C. Constitution that states 'Tax laws must state specifically how the peoples tax money is to be spent and it can be spent in no other way.'  Article V section 5."  

"The law has been broken because they violated the constitution," he said Friday when asked what was fueling his drive.  "I'm doing this because it needs to be done."  

In the 2001-2002 fiscal year, the state withheld $343.3 million from the counties and cities in the state so Gov. Mike Easley could balance the state budget.  More than double that amount was withheld in the 2002-2003 budget year but a 1/2-cent local option sales tax was authorized by the general assembly to help local governments deal with the shortfall.  

A total of $658,000 was withheld from Craven County in fiscal 2001-2002, including six months' reimbursement money for the inventory tax the legislature repealed with the understanding the state would make up the lost revenue through 2003.  It also included funds for the same period from beer and wine tax receipts and senior citizen exemption.  The total withheld for 2002-2003 is projected at $1.9 million.  

Utilities franchise and beer and wine tax collected for municipalities was also withheld, resulting in a near $800,000 loss to New Bern and a $490,459 loss to Havelock.  River Bend and Trent Woods also experienced revenue shortfalls.  

After five appeals from Hinshaw, Craven County voted 4-3 along party lines in December against joining the lawsuit against the North Carolina secretary of revenue that attempts to recover the reimbursements.  

Havelock commissioners voted unanimously to join the suit originally thought to cost each governing board $1,000 to join.  

A Dec. 18 memorandum from the Raleigh law firm Boyce & Isley, which originally filed the suit on behalf of six plaintiffs, states that "due to the significant interest in this suit, we will adjust the contribution downward to some amount less than $1,000.  There will be no additional costs even if the case goes to the Supreme Court."  

The memorandum puts the number of governing boards and councils signed on now at 30, with a Jan. 31 deadline for joining the case.  

It states definitively that "If a settlement opportunity presents itself, we will only be representing our clients in the settlement process."  

Havelock and River Bend mayors appeared before commissioners in November encouraging them to pass the 1/2-cent local option sales tax to make up for some of the lost revenues, which the new county board did Dec. 2.  It becomes effective Jan. 1.  

While it is not yet known whether or not any money will be recovered, most feel it will allow the courts to establish more clearly than legislation enacted this year whether or not the state secretary of revenue, at the direction of the governor or anyone else, can withhold money collected by the state with the understanding it would be returned to the counties.  

The law firm is handling the case on a contingency fee basis and will not be paid unless the case succeeds, and then no more than 15 percent with the court left to make a decision on a reasonable fee.  

Hinshaw hopes public pressure will get Craven commissioners to reconsider county involvement.  

"My interest is to help my taxes not go up, because they will if it isn't stopped," he said.

The following article was published in the New Bern "Sun Journal" (New Bern, North Carolina) on April 28, 2003:6

Hinshaw has a Ph.D in helping taxpayers

Byrd Hinshaw jokes that he is working on his Ph.D. -- that's "piled high desk" -- and with the work he has done to make a taxpayers' point this year, the task appears complete.  

A New Bern resident for 38 years, the 71-year-old Hinshaw began a campaign last fall to have Craven County and its municipalities sign on to a suit to recover reimbursement money withheld from counties by the state as it experienced a budget shortfall in the 2001-2002 fiscal year.  

Craven County found its coffers shorted about $658,000, and statewide, $334 million stayed in Raleigh instead of finding its way back to counties and cities across the state.  

"I'm a member of the Craven County Taxpayers Association but I got into this after reading about it in the Sun Journal.  I just didn't think it was right," said Hinshaw, who told commissioners the state constitution prohibits using taxes for anything other than what they were originally collected.  

The city of Havelock did join the suit, originally costing about $1,000 per plaintiff in legal fees for the Raleigh law firm representing the multi-government group.  As more than 100 plaintiffs signed on -- most recently a group of Edenton women fashioning their protest after the 1774 Edenton Tea Party -- the cost came down to $500 for counties, and $200 for cities and towns.  

Hinshaw's personal philosophy of "less government and more individual responsibility" took him, armed with the Cabarrus County originated suit, before Craven County commissioners three times requesting they sign on for the county so it could recover the withheld reimbursements if the suit prevails.  

While the Valdese High School graduate and U.S. Air Force veteran wasn't successful through official channels, Hinshaw ran ads and circulated petitions securing funds and signatures to include the county and each of its municipalities in the suit slated to be heard in Wake County in May.  

Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake, calling the case "exceptional," assigned the case to retired Superior Court Judge Robert L. Farmer of Raleigh, bringing him back as an emergency superior court judge, Hinshaw said.  

With Hinshaw's help, a resident of all other Craven municipalities signed on for their respective towns, first with him picking up much of the tab.  

"They passed the hat at the Craven County Taxpayer's Association and others contributed so it ultimately didn't cost me anything except time," said Hinshaw, who has always been interested in politics.  

The suit against the state's secretary of revenue seeks the return of funds including six months' reimbursement money for the inventory tax the legislature repealed with the understanding the state would make up the lost revenue through 2003.  

It also seeks to recover included funds for the same period from beer and wine tax receipts collected by the state for the county and senior citizen exemption.  Utilities franchise and beer and wine tax collected for municipalities in the county were also withheld.  

The attorneys handling the case offered to waive all attorneys fees and costs and settle for 85 cents on the dollar last fall and with 100 clients now, attorney Eugene Boyce said he would make the same offer again.  

Nine of the counties or municipalities statewide, in addition to the eight in Craven County, are represented by individuals for recovery by the respective county or town.  The other 83 plaintiffs voted officially for their respective government to sign on to the suit.  

Hinshaw said he's "done just about everything" in his work life, including a stint with Stanley Power Tools that brought him here after 10 years with Westinghouse in Raleigh.  

He now works managing the Craven County ABC Store in James City, and is an avid amateur radio buff, particularly with the military amateur radio services.  

"Before e-mail came about, we were the guys that transmitted the messages from the troops to the homes and the homes to the troops," said Hinshaw.  

With this effort, he is getting into e-mail too, and his next project on the drawing board is a Web site that links taxpayers' associations for mutual exchange.

Wesley Byrd Hinshaw died Dec 9 2003, Craven Regional Medical Center, New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina.3,4  

Byrd's obituary was published in the New Bern "Sun Journal" (New Bern, North Carolina) on Thursday, December 11, 2003:4

Byrd Hinshaw, 71, died Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2003, at Craven Regional Medical Center.  

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Pollock-Best Funeral Chapel.  

He is survived by two sons, Robert Hinshaw and Michael Hinshaw and one stepson, Tony Hinshaw, all of New Bern; four grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.  

The family will receive friends from noon to 2 p.m. Friday prior to the service at the funeral home.  

Arrangements by Pollock-Best Funerals & Cremations.

Social Security information for Wesley Byrd Hinshaw: 241-56-1598


  1. Obituary of Byrd Hinshaw.
  2. Contribution from Matthew S. Marlier ().
  3. "Social Security Death Index" (as it is commonly called), derived from the Social Security Administration "Death Master File". See: http://www.rootsweb.com/~rwguide/lesson10.htm
  4. Obituary of Byrd Hinshaw; the New Bern "Sun Journal", Dec 11 2003:
  5. The New Bern "Sun Journal", Dec 28 2002:
  6. The New Bern "Sun Journal", Apr 28 2003:

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