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 Legislative Advocacy 

Welcome to the Legislative Advocacy home page

Thank you for visiting the Legislative Advocacy home page of the North Carolina League of Municipalities. Here you will find all the latest updates on pending legislation, issues of importance to municipalities, regulatory affairs, League events and more.

The Legislative Advocacy section of the website is also where you can sign up for League LINC, the League’s grassroots initiative. For more on League LINC, click on Get Involved on the left-hand side of this page, or click here to set up your League LINC account.

Thank you for your interest in the League’s legislative activity, and check back frequently for more updates.

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January 23 LeagueLINC Bulletin Now Available

Change is in the air, here and everywhere. Read about it in this week's LeagueLINC Bulletin. Actually, change may be in the water, too, at least when it comes to how the EPA is handling a clean-up plan affecting municipalities. And there is hope for some change when it comes to preserving historic buildings. Read about that and a whole lot more in this week's LeagueLINC Bulletin.  

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Posted on January 23, 2015 by Scott Mooneyham

January 16 LeagueLINC Bulletin Now Available

They're back! OK, that was not very original, but they are, sort of. Legislators returned to Raleigh to begin a new legislative session, and you can read about their return and subsequent two-week break in this week's LeagueLINC Bulletin. Besides electing leaders, the House adopted some novel rules and the Senate named its committees. Away from the Legislative Building, there was good news for municipalities on the retirement front. So, if you are looking for some defined benefits, read this week's LeagueLINC Bulletin.

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Posted on January 16, 2015 by Scott Mooneyham

League to Host Second in Series of Regional Meetings Examining the Future of Municipal Finance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 14, 2015
Contact: Scott Mooneyham
(919) 715-9768                                                                    
smooneyham@nclm.org
 
A Path Forward: Vibrant Cities Today and Tomorrow
League to Host Second in Series of Regional Meetings  Examining the Future of Municipal Finance   
                         
(RALEIGH)  -- The North Carolina League of Municipalities will host the second in a series of regional meetings examining the future of municipal finance in Burlington on January 26, 2014. This series of meetings, A Path Forward: Vibrant Cities Today and Tomorrow, examines the many financial challenges facing municipalities, big and small, including the $62 million fiscal cliff created by the pending loss of privilege license tax revenue.

“These meetings are intended to further a public conversation about how cities and towns move forward while facing dramatic population shifts and policy changes affecting where municipalities can turn to finance the services that residents demand and desire,” said League President and Burlington Mayor Ronnie Wall. “To keep our state economically healthy, we must have cities and towns that are economically vibrant and healthy.”

The Burlington meeting will include a presentation by League staff looking at the history of municipal finance, comparative data with other states, and where cities and towns stand today. A panel discussion will focus on the economic pressures faced by communities around the state and how a tax structure that promotes low property taxes has played a critical role in economic development. Panelists will include elected and appointed municipal officials from across the region.

The initial meeting in the series took place last month in Southport, where municipal officials noted the many services that cities provide benefit residents and non-residents alike. Fayetteville City Manager Ted Voorhees said giving cities fewer revenue options is bad tax policy, leaving local elected officials with a single financing decision, “whether to raise or not raise the property tax.”
 
The upcoming meeting on Jan. 26, as well as future meetings in the series, will continue to exam those issues as well as broader demographic, government service and tax trends.
  
When: Monday, January 26, 2015, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
 
Where: Lake Mackintosh Club House, 2704 Huffman Mill Rd., Burlington, N.C. 27215     

About the League
The North Carolina League of Municipalities is a membership association of 540 great hometowns – representing nearly every municipality in the state. The League advocates for its members, from the largest city to the smallest village, on the full range of legislative issues that affect municipalities.
For more than 100 years, the League has promoted – and continues to promote – good government by offering non-partisan advocacy, insurance and other services – as directed by its membership.

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Posted on January 14, 2015 by Scott Mooneyham

Up Front, a message from the President

Today, a new legislative session began, a new House speaker was chosen, and we begin down another path that will take us to unknown policy ends. Already, the League staff has begun letting legislators know about the goals that you set for cities and towns for the upcoming legislative session.  A brochure laying out our priorities was printed over the holidays, and League lobbyists have started meeting with legislators to pass this along to them and begin discussing those priorities with them. As the legislature begins organizing for the session, this critical work will continue.

Speaking of the speaker, look for an interview with new House Speaker Tim Moore in the next issue of Southern City. Speaker Moore was kind enough to sit with down with League staff just before his official selection as speaker to discuss the upcoming legislative session. He also covered another topic that should be of interest: how his father, Kings Mountain City Councilman Rick Moore, became interested in politics.

Last week, the Governmental Affairs team officially welcomed its new director, Rose Vaughn Williams, and Rose certainly had to hit the ground running. Besides trying to get her arms around the diverse range of issues that affect cities and towns, Rose is already using her legislative contacts gained through years of work lobbying on behalf of the Department of Insurance to discuss with them our priorities.

Finally, I am looking forward to the second in the League’s series of meetings on the future of municipal finance coming to Burlington on January 26. These meetings are getting our message out to the media and broader public that municipalities need flexibility and options when it comes to paying for the services that our residents need and want. Yours truly will be delivering the opening remarks. I look forward to seeing some of you there.
 
- Ronnie Wall

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Posted on January 14, 2015 by Scott Mooneyham

January 9 LINC'ed IN Now Available

It's a new year. And it's an odd-numbered year. That means a new legislative session is just around the corner. Read about the lead-up to the session in this week's LINC IN. You learn about efforts to restore historic preservation tax credits and read up on Governor McCrory's continuing push to have legislators fund economic development programs. It's all here in this week's LINC IN.

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Posted on January 09, 2015 by Scott Mooneyham

December 19 LINC'ed IN Now Available

This week's LINC'ed IN is not much more than a very simple wish: That this holiday season is a safe and joyous one for you and yours. Take a gander at the Government Affairs Team as they wish you this, and a Happy New Year!
 

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Posted on December 19, 2014 by Scott Mooneyham

Up Front, a message from the President

As we enter the holiday season, it has been a busy time at the League. For many of you, that is not news. You have been active participants in our goals-setting process, which concluded with the Advocacy Goals Conference in Raleigh last week. Some of you also took part in the first of our series of regional meetings on the future of municipal finance, which was held in Southport two weeks ago.

Both of these events are crucial to our efforts to put state legislators’ focus on the priorities of cities and towns as we prepare for another legislative session in January. Highlighting these types of critical efforts is one of the reasons that I have begun this President’s message, which you will be seeing every other week once we move into the New Year.

The Advocacy Goals Conference was a long but worthwhile day for all of us. Having a member-driven process in setting the legislative and regulatory priorities of cities and towns may be time-consuming and sometimes unwieldy. But besides giving voice to all municipalities, it makes our message more effective. Legislators know that municipal officials in their districts had an opportunity to weigh in on these goals. They are paying attention. When the League staff can enlist Governor McCrory to attend (and I very much enjoyed our question-and-answer session over lunch), that puts a bigger spotlight on our efforts.

That spotlight also was shining on the town of Southport when League staff and municipal officials from around the region went there to talk about the future of municipal finance and the pending loss of privilege license tax revenue. Before and after the meeting, we enjoyed significant media coverage in the region and even in Raleigh that highlighted the plight of cities and towns facing substantial revenue losses. That didn’t happen by chance. It was the result of a lot of hard work by everyone involved, and I am looking forward to the next meeting coming to Burlington on Jan. 26.

As we near the conclusion of 2014, I want to thank all of you for all of your hard work on behalf of cities and towns. As I said at the goals conference, you are making a difference. You may not always see it. I do, and the League staff does. Happy Holidays, and I hope you have a joyous New Year!

--Ronnie Wall 

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Posted on December 18, 2014 by Scott Mooneyham

Cities, Towns Approve Priorities for 2015-16 Legislative Session

(RALEIGH)  -- Member cities and towns of the North Carolina League of Municipalities on Thursday approved their legislative and regulatory priorities for the 2015-16 legislative biennium, with several goals focused on transportation needs and finance options.

The approval of 25 legislative, 5 regulatory and two federal priorities during the League’s Advocacy Goals Conference marked the culmination of more than six months of work by policy committees, the League’s Board of Directors and the League’s general membership. The priorities were narrowed from 136 proposals submitted by member municipalities and affiliate groups.

The policy committees were made up of 170 individuals representing 86 separate municipalities. At Thursday’s conference held in Raleigh, the League’s general membership narrowed the priorities to their final numbers.

The priorities include one that would seek legislation to generate additional revenue to address growing transportation needs at the state and local level and enable local governments to enter into alternative financing mechanisms to complete transportation projects. Another calls for allowing municipalities to access a portion of any transportation-related state bond issue.

Finance-related priorities would provide municipalities with additional local-option revenue sources to replace money lost due to the pending repeal of the privilege license tax.

League President and Burlington Mayor Ronnie Wall said the priorities are about keeping up “the house we live in.”
“Our goals are our long-term plan for this house we live in and those who will live in it after us,” Wall said. “We have to let our legislators keep hearing our voices.”

The conference included a luncheon question-and-answer session between Gov. Pat McCrory and Wall in which the governor reiterated his commitment to working with municipalities and legislators to find a replacement source of revenue for the privilege license tax.
 
McCrory also urged municipal officials to work with his administration in getting state lawmakers to restore the historic preservation tax credit, saying the credit had little to do with broader tax reform.

“We have to get the historic tax credit back.” McCrory said.

Federal goals approved by the League membership call for clarity from the Environment Protection Agency regarding how it defines “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act and seek federal legislation to facilitate the collection of sales taxes from online retail purchases.
 
About the League
The North Carolina League of Municipalities is a membership association of 540 great hometowns – representing nearly every municipality in the state. The League advocates for its members, from the largest city to the smallest village, on the full range of legislative issues that affect municipalities.
For more than 100 years, the League has promoted – and continues to promote – good government by offering non-partisan advocacy, insurance and other services – as directed by its membership.

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Posted on December 12, 2014 by Scott Mooneyham

December 12 LINC'ed IN Now Available

Run, run, Rudolph, Santa's got to make it to town, tell him he can find where League members have been, it's all here in this week's LINC'ed IN. Where they've been is in Raleigh, for this year's Advocacy Goals Conference. In addition to reading about the League's legislative priorities established at the conference, you can also find out about new utilities sales tax distributions.  And there is the promise of a present awaiting some eastern municipalities regarding a buyout deal with the state's largest investor-owned utility. Those Santa goodies and more are in the this week's LINC'ed IN.

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Posted on December 12, 2014 by Scott Mooneyham

December 5 LINC'ed IN Now Available

OK. so maybe it's not that special present under the Christmas tree, but this week's LINC'ed IN does contain a few goodies. Read about the League's trip South, to the town of Southport, for the first in a series of meetings on the future of municipal finance. And find out about the League's new Governmental Affairs Director. It is all right here in this week's LINC'ed IN.

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Posted on December 06, 2014 by Scott Mooneyham

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