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In the News

02.27.2014 Charlotte Douglas commission chair says compromise stalled, mayor disputes claim

02.27.2014 Goldsboro keeps wary eye on upstream coal ash ponds

02.27.2014 Greensboro's police complaint panel under review

02.27.2014 Many questions, few answers as CLT commission ponders future

02.27.2014 NC Libertarians getting US Senate primary, too

02.27.2014 Who's the next House speaker? Likely one of these lawmakers

02.26.2014 Concord's new city hall coming into focus

02.26.2014 ElectriCities officials discuss possible deal with Duke Energy

02.26.2014 N.C. House speaker officially launches U.S. Senate campaign

02.26.2014 Pat McCrory focus of national media in busy political season

02.26.2014 Police review board needs teeth, Durham activists say

02.26.2014 Thom Tillis opposes minimum wage hike, stops short of supporting repeal

02.25.2014 McCrory, coastal governors press offshore drilling in Washington

02.25.2014 McCrory demands Duke plans for coal ash

02.25.2014 McCrory to Duke Energy: Move ash away from water

02.25.2014 Sales tax referendum to appear on primary ballot in Brunswick County

02.25.2014 Wilkison to Retire as Pinehurst Manager Dec. 1

02.24.2014 Consultant calls for more detail on region-shaping Chatham Park project

02.24.2014 DENR changes course on Cleveland County reservoir

02.24.2014 Florida-based utility picks Kings Mountain for $450 million plant

02.24.2014 Hagan makes re-election bid official, dodges health care

02.24.2014 Justice elected N.C. GOP vice chairwoman

02.24.2014 State rescinds reservoir permit waiver

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Sen. Hunt Opts Not to Run Again as Candidate Filing Period Closes

The candidate filing period for the November elections ends today at noon, and for the first time since 2004 those elections will not feature Neal Hunt on the ballot for the N.C. Senate. Sen. Hunt announced this week that he would not seek re-election, ending his time in the Senate after five terms. "I know in my heart that I have done my best to serve the people of Raleigh, Wake County, and North Carolina in the past two decades," Sen. Hunt said in his statement. "After careful collaboration with my family and friends, I have decided that my current term in the North Carolina Senate will be my last." Since 2010, Sen. Hunt has served as one of the Senate's principal budget writers as a co-chair of the Appropriations Committee. Prior to his time in the Senate, he served as a council member for the City of Raleigh. The League has enjoyed having the opportunity to work with Sen. Hunt on a variety of issues over the years, and we appreciate all the work that he has done on behalf of cities and towns in North Carolina. We wish him all the best in the future. Reportedly, current Rep. Jim Fulghum will run for Hunt's seat in the Senate.

The N.C. General Assembly has been maintaining an unofficial list of all the candidates that have filed to run for the state legislature. See the unofficial list of Senate candidates here, and the unofficial list of House candidates here.

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U.S. House Vote on Flood Insurance Changes Delayed; Contact Representatives Now

After originally scheduling a vote on flood insurance legislation for this week, the U.S. House of Representatives now plans to vote on the matter next week. The bill -- H.R. 3370, The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act -- would take several measures to slow or stop the significant flood insurance rate increases that many property owners have been experiencing following the passage of the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012. League members have been among those across the country expressing concern, leading the members of the National League of Cities to recently approve a resolution urging Congress to pass the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013. That bill did pass the U.S. Senate, but the version being considered by the House contains new language, meaning that if the House passes it the two chambers would need to work out the differences between the bills in conference. NLC is supporting the House version of the bill, and we ask that you please contact your Representatives and ask them to vote "Yes" on H.R. 3370.
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Tillman Recommends Holding off on Property Tax Collection Fee Increase

In a meeting of the Revenue Laws Study Committee's Subcommittee on License Plate Agency Compensation Tuesday, Sen. Jerry Tillman suggested that the Committee abstain from any changes to the "Tax & Tag Together" implementation fees paid by local governments until at least September 1, 2014. The date marked one year since the program began. The subcommittee was statutorily authorized to study per transaction compensation rates for contractors who issue vehicle registrations and simultaneously collect local property taxes under the state's new program. At this week's meeting, representatives from the North Carolina Association of Motor Vehicle Registration Contractors urged subcommittee members to consider increasing the current transaction fee, which was set at $1.06 through the end of this month and $0.71 thereafter. As a rationale for increasing the fees, the contractors cited increased overhead expenses and staff time associated with collecting the property taxes. In the alternative, local government groups asked (1) that the $0.71 rate be extended through July of 2015, (2) that the property tax collection fees apply to in-person transactions only (thereby excluding internet and mail transactions), and (3) that the committee authorize a study of the increased workload associated with the new program. The League supported this alternate body of recommendations.
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Two Duke Streetlight Forums Remaining -- Register Now

Registration is open now for two upcoming Outdoor Lighting Forums that were developed between a group of League members and Duke Energy Progress/Duke Energy Carolinas (Duke). Those forums will be held March 6 in Hickory and March 13 in Greensboro, with more details and registration available here. The goal of these forums is to allow Duke to update energy customers on the latest developments in the modernization of outdoor lighting technology and collect feedback on customer needs. The forums were organized so that Duke could comply with a N.C. Utilities Commission order that directed the company to discuss a modernized streetlight rate schedule with its N.C. municipal customers. The League has been pushing for such a modernized rate in its filings with the Utilities Commission.
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UNC SOG Weighs In on Budgeting Under Tag & Tax Together

Chris McLaughlin, Assistant Professor of Public Law and Government at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government, wrote on the School's blog this week regarding budgeting under the new Tag & Tax Together program. In his update, he touched on estimating the property tax collection rate, revenue collections under the new Tag & Tax Together system, and what to expect in the future. Read here for the full post.
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Submit Nominations for Great Places in NC Until March 24

Nominations are now open for the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association's Great Places in NC Awards Program. The program was started in 2012 to highlight North Carolina's Great Places and the communities and people that have created them. Nominations are open in four categories: People's Choice: Main Street; People's Choice: Public Place; Professional's Category: Main Street; and Professional's Category: Great Main Street "In the Making." Nominations will be accepted through March 24. For more information on the Great Places in NC and to make nominations, see here.
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Round 6 of Federal TIGER Grants Now Open

President Barack Obama announced this week that $600 million would be available for grants in the latest round of the Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants. The Notice of Funding Availability can be found here. The federal Department of Transportation is soliciting applications for these grants. Applications through will open on April 3 and be accepted until April 28, though you must complete the registration process before submitting an application, and that process usually takes 2-4 weeks to complete. Further information on the TIGER program can be obtained on the TIGER website or by emailing TIGER staff.