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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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ACTION ALERT: Tell House Members to Stop Bill Giving Counties a Veto of City Condemnations

Please call House members this weekend and urge them to oppose HB 875 Restrict Municipal Eminent Domain. While the League appreciates the work of primary bill sponsors Reps. Jonathan Jordan, Chuck McGrady, and Howard Hunter, III in addressing the League's initial concerns and limiting the original scope of the bill, it would still require county commission approval of all municipal condemnation actions outside a municipality's corporate limits (with limited exceptions). The bill essentially gives county commissioners a veto over municipal officials' decisions, a policy the League opposes.

It is important to note that the bill that is linked does not include the changes that have been incorporated into the revised legislation and which were discussed before the House Local Government Committee on Thursday. Because the committee postponed further discussion before a vote was held to officially consider the revised bill, those changes have not yet been reflected in the bill that is posted online. The committee will meet again on Monday afternoon. The original version would have affected municipal condemnation powers inside and outside of municpal corporate limits, as well as property purchases and leases; the new version only affects condemnations and only those outside of a municipality's corporate limits.

Municipalities are one class of publicly-accountable condemnors, a group of entities which also includes county commissions and the State and federal governments. Condemnation power is also given to private entities such as electric, gas, and water utilities, and railroads. All of these condemnors hold the authority to condemn private property in exchange for just compensation, a significant power granted to them because of the overriding public need to have reliable, low-cost basic infrastructure. HB 875 singles out municipalities in a manner not reserved for any other entity with condemnation powers. 

When discussing this proposal with House members, please explain to them the circumstances in which municipalities initiate condemnation proceedings, including extension of water and sewer lines to economic development sites or residential developments whose wells have run dry. Provision of these basic public services is a primary purpose of municipal government, and this bill would slow or stop municipalities from performing this basic function while simultaneously driving up costs for taxpayers. Let legislators know about typical municipal condemnations outside of corporate limits, including:

  • Satellite economic development parcels which require municipal water and sewer to recruit industry;
  • Housing developments on the edge of a town which will eventually be annexed but not before completion of water and sewer or road infrastructure;
  • Water tanks that can be shorter because they are on higher elevation outside of corporate limits, saving taxpayers money;
  • Sewer pump stations that can be smaller because they are on a more favorable site from a geographic perspective.  

Please contact your House members and let them know how this bill may prove detrimental to your town or city.

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Posted on April 24, 2015 by Scott Mooneyham

April 24 LeagueLINC Bulletin Now Available

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Posted on April 24, 2015 by Scott Mooneyham

Property Tax Hikes, Salary Freezes Considered to Make Up for Revenue Losses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22, 2015
Contact: Scott Mooneyham
(919) 715-9768
 
Survey Tracks Responses to Privilege License Tax Loss

Municipalities Consider Property Tax Hikes, Salary Freezes to Make up for Revenue Losses
    
                         
(RALEIGH)  -- A recent survey of towns and cities conducted by the North Carolina League of Municipalities finds that one-quarter of responding municipalities suffering revenue losses due to the pending repeal of the business privilege license tax are considering property tax increases to make up the revenue.

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Posted on April 22, 2015 by Scott Mooneyham

Up Front, a message from the President

This is one of the busier times of the year for the League's Governmental Affairs team. The General Assembly is coming up against what is known as "crossover," when bills that do not have financial implications must have passed either the House or Senate to continue to be eligible throughout the two-year legislative session. It is a critical time because, with hundreds of bills filed, we can all be hopeful that those damaging to municipalities quietly die and those helpful to municipalities will live another day.

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Posted on April 22, 2015 by Scott Mooneyham

ACTION ALERT: Contact Your Legislators Regarding HB 304/SB 320 Revisions to Outdoor Advertising Laws

Please contact your legislators to express your opposition to HB 304/ SB 320 Revisions to Outdoor Advertising Laws. This bill would undermine local regulation of billboards. Specific provisions would pre-empt local regulation when an existing billboard is altered or relocated, meaning that even grandfathered, non-conforming signs could be moved, enlarged, placed on a monopole or steel pole, or converted to lighted, digital technology. Although the 13-page bill contains numerous provisions, some of them continuing to refer to local zoning and other local regulation of billboards, it begins with a policy declaration calling for the establishment of a uniform system of billboard regulation throughout the state.

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Posted on April 17, 2015 by Scott Mooneyham

Municipal Sales Tax, Other Key Legislation Filed

HB 903 County Tax Flexibility/Municipal Revenue Options was filed in the House today and would allow municipal governing boards, by resolution, to levy a city-only, one-quarter cent sales and use tax. The primary sponsor of the bipartisan bill is Rep. Jason Saine of Lincolnton, who co-chairs the House Finance Committee. Other sponsors are Reps. Susan Martin of Wilson, Chuck McGrady of Hendersonville and Robert Reives II of Sanford. The bill also would allow a separate county quarter-cent sales tax for general purposes, revenue that would not be shared with municipalities.

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Posted on April 15, 2015 by Scott Mooneyham

Up Front, a message from the President

This week and last, League Executive Director Paul Meyer has been out and about across the state talking to members. By the time this goes out, he will have hit five towns – Sylva, Marion, Wilkesboro, Manteo and Ahoskie – as a part of a League Listening and Visioning Tour. He and new Grassroots Coordinator Vickie Miller will make 10 more stops through the month of April before completing the tour. Part of this effort is about finishing up the League’s ongoing Visioning process, looking at how we define municipalities’ mission and the League going forward.

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Posted on April 08, 2015 by Scott Mooneyham

ACTION ALERT: Contact Your Senators Regarding HB 152/SB 287 New Historic Preservation Tax Credit

Please contact your Senators and urge them to support HB 152/SB 287 New Historic Preservation Tax Credit. This legislation passed the House overwhelmingly less than two weeks ago, and even though the House bill may or may not be the vehicle by which an historic preservation credit is restored, League staff believes the issue is likely to remain in play until final budget negotiations are completed this summer. It is important to contact Senators now, with the bill freshly before them, to let them know of your support. 
 

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Posted on April 06, 2015 by Scott Mooneyham

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 2, 2015
Contact: Scott Mooneyham
(919) 715-9768
 
A Path Forward: Vibrant Cities Today and Tomorrow

League to Host Third in Series of Regional Meetings Examining the Future of Municipal Finance
 
 
(RALEIGH)  -- The North Carolina League of Municipalities will host the third in a series of regional meetings examining the future of municipal finance in Pineville on April 13, 2015. 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. 

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Posted on April 02, 2015 by Scott Mooneyham

April 2 LeagueLINC Bulletin Now Available

We don't need to egg you on, do we? It's time again to read this week's LeagueLINC Bulletin. Yes, it is a day early, with the Easter weekend looming. But that is no reason to hop about, unless you are a committee chair unhappy with a motion to kill a bill. And, don't put your eggs in one basket, your bills in one hopper, or in the case of proposed building inspection rules, your bill on the floor before it is ready. Read about those subjects and more in this week's LeagueLINC Bulletin.

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Posted on April 02, 2015 by Scott Mooneyham

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