Click here for a PDF version of the 2013-2014 Municipal Advocacy Goals.
Build Safe & Prosperous Cities and Towns
- Seek legislation allowing the people to vote on an amendment to the North Carolina Constitution establishing Home Rule authority for municipal governments.
- Support legislation, if internet sweepstakes operations are legalized, that would expressly protect the land us decision-making and tax-levying authority of municipalities over said operations.
- Seek legislation to provide adequate representation for extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) residents on advisory boards for land use decisions affecting ETJ areas, place reasonable limitations on the creation of new ETJ boundaries, and retain existing ETJ areas to help protect orderly development and building improvements, while facilitating economic development and protecting individual property values.
- Support legislation to permit a governmental entity to seek an order of abatement where a property may have some legitimate use, but is also the source of regular criminal nuisance activity.
- Seek legislation to reestablish authority for city-initiated annexation of "doughnut holes," areas of land that are completely surrounded by municipal territory, and categories of right-of-way that have been accepted for maintenance by either a city or the NCDOT and in which there are no registered voters.
- Seek legislation to correct the constitutional issue within the annexation law requiring municipal construction of/payment for water and sewer lines across private property all the way to the home or structure.
- Support legislation to develop a holistic approach to water supply that offsets potable water supply demands and includes: opportunities for increased water storage options, reclassification of reclaimed water as a resource, and expanded uses of reclaimed water such as for recycling to surface water supplies.
- Support legislation requiring owners of mopeds to maintain a minimum level of liability insurance and register their mopeds.
Enhance the Fiscal Health of Municipalities
- Seek legislation to modernize the local tax system by:
- Giving municipalities the authority to levy a sales tax that applies within their corporate limits and is solely a municipal revenue;
- Expanding the sales tax base to include more services, provided that any accompanying change in the local sales tax rate includes a perpetually hold harmless provision for individual cities and towns;
- Reducing the complexity and inequity of the privilege license tax while maintaining the tax as a locally controlled source of revenue that supports services to businesses and consumers;
- Allowing all municipalities to adopt occupancy taxes that are available to fund municipal service and infrastructure costs in order to support travel and tourism;
- Providing all municipalities with additional local option tax revenue sources;
- Requiring a one-year delay in implementation when a county changes its method of distributing sales tax revenue.
- Seek legislation to authorize a state bond to provide low-cost loans to local governments and authorities for upgrades to water and wastewater treatment systems, expansion of storm water programs, and assured water supplies.
- Seek legislation to increase Clean Water Management Trust Fund appropriations and restore the fund's recurring appropriation.
- Support legislation which defends the fiscal integrity of the Local Government Employees' Retirement System and its defined benefit structure, promotes reasonable pension reforms that are prospective in nature, and meets the needs of local employees, employers, and retirees.
- Seek the temporary extension of the transitional hold harmless payments to cities and towns for a period of time that will allow the local option sales tax revenue to grow to the point where the loss of the promised payment can be absorbed by the local government.
- Seek legislation to give municipalities the option to award contracts for goods and materials to local bidders that are not low bidders, under specified circumstances.
- Seek legislation to give municipalities the option to use electronic legal public notices in lieu of publication in a newspaper.
- Ensure that municipalities can provide critical services by protecting state-collected municipal revenues.
- Seek legislation to allow municipalities to adopt impact fees to pay for growth-related infrastructure and services.
- Support legislation to remove the sunset date on the use of film credit.
Strengthen the Future of Our Public Infrastructure
- Oppose legislation that weakens or removes local control over public utility systems, specifically including municipal water and/or sewer systems.
- Seek legislation to strengthen the law regarding municipal decision-making authority of water and sewer provisions beyond municipal limits and ensure the existing water and sewer system is given deference in order to support orderly growth.
- Seek legislation to provide relief for municipal governments who are forced to pay the costs of municipal utility relocation related to NCDOT projects by doing the following: requiring non-municipal units of governments to pay the costs of utility relocations; raising the existing municipal population threshold for the requirement of reimbursement; and limiting reimbursement requirements to the widening of existing rights of way by NCDOT.
- Seek legislation to allow Powell Bill funds to be used for sidewalks and walking paths that are adjacent to, but not located within, the right-of-way of state-maintained roads.
- Protect local authority and localities' power to regulate hydraulic fracturing and related infrastructure in their communities.
- Seek legislation requiring NCDOT to establish standards for greenway construction so that greenways are not required to be built to the same standard as roads.
- Seek legislation to include municipalities and utility authorities and commissions in the permit approval process of package wastewater treatment plants to be constructed within town boundaries or within the periphery that will negatively affect the town's infrastructure, and authorize municipalities to veto an application for a package wastewater treatment plant to be located within the municipality, upon a showing that municipal service is available to the area or will be within five years.
Reform Regulatory Provisions
- Support solutions addressing nutrient impairment in waters that: are based on site-specific data and analysis, demonstrate use impairment, assign responsibility proportionate to the source of impairment, and include measures to equitably hold accountable all contributors to the impairment.
- Seek policies that provide flexibility when implementing programs guided by water quality standards adopted through the triennial review process.
- Seek updated regulatory procedures that would provide more openness, transparency, and flexibility for development of the impaired waters list and the system of rating water bodies.
- Seek legislation that would implement mechanisms requiring state agencies to repeal unnecessary, unduly burdensome, or inconsistent rules.
- Support legislation that would limit regulation of land application of biosolids to the state and federal governments.