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League Bulletin

January 19, 2018

​Shortly after the publication of last week’s League Bulletin, news broke that the U.S. Supreme Court would weigh in on an e-fairness case directly of interest to the League’s federal advocacy agenda. The League’s membership supports​ federal e-fairness action that would close the online sales tax loophole, restore marketplace fairness for competing brick and mortar businesses and create new revenue for state and local governments. Last Friday, news outlets and the National League of Cities reported that the Supreme Court agreed to decide South Dakota v. Wayfair, in which the state is asking for a ruling that states and local governments can require retailers with no in-state presence to collect sales tax. “This case is huge news for states and local governments,” NLC writes in an article thoroughly explaining the update. “This article describes how we got here and why it is likely South Dakota will win.”    

​A multi-party effort with the City of Hendersonville is generating important, regional benefits in health — and creating a powerful growth formula for the future. And you can read all about it at, the League's economic development story-sharing campaign. Today, Hendersonville in western North Carolina is part of a region popular with retirees, with a quarter of the county’s headcount in the 65-plus age bracket. But healthcare provision hasn’t always kept up, with a lack of pharmacists and physician assistants just a part of the demand. It’s the troubling math of an aging population and the need for support that so many areas are experiencing. But it’s changing around Hendersonville thanks to work that could pay off well beyond the healthcare picture alone. The idea: provide local students with accessible healthcare education and a reason to stay in the area to work and energize healthcare offerings that are much more convenient for residents in need, all the while supporting local businesses in the vicinity. How are they pulling it off? Read about it at Here We Grow, where you as a municipal official can upload your city's own economic development story. Cities and towns across North Carolina are doing so and, as such, creating a collective picture of how municipalities are driving positives for the entire state. To obtain login credentials, send an email to And if you need inspiration for your story, there's plenty at Here We Grow​.

​North Carolina has kept Amazon's interest in the mega-company's coveted HQ2 site-search and the 50,000 jobs slated with it. Localities across the country have put in big bids and pleas to win the major development, but the list of contenders is now down to 20, and Raleigh is on it, Amazon revealed. The City of Oaks represents the only metro area in North Carolina still in the running. The Triangle Business Journal reports that state commerce officials are working to raise the state's chances as Amazon continues to thin the field. Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane issued a statement about the development Thursday morning. "We are proud of the investments and partnerships we’ve made that enhance our many attributes, such as our world-class university system, well-trained workforce, diverse economy, strong infrastructure, and emerging entrepreneurial spirit. Raleigh’s commitment to the arts, public parks, and other core services has created an exceptional quality of life for all to enjoy." But for parts of the state no longer in the running for Amazon, there's a new potential focus: App​le​. The Winston-Salem Journal reported on Thursday that Triad economic development officials' experience with the HQ2 effort have prepared them for an Apple pursuit. As the newspaper reports, quoting from an Apple news release: “The company plans to establish an Apple campus in a new location, which will initially house technical support for customers. The location of this new facility will be announced later in the year.”​

After a three-judge panel ordered the General Assembly to redraw the state's congressional districts by a quick deadline of Jan. 29, the U.S. Supreme Court this week granted legislators a delay. The Associated Press reported​ on Thursday that lawyers for Republican mapmakers in the General Assembly successfully argued that the redraw order should be be put on hold while similar gerrymandering court cases in other states await decisions from the nation's highest court. It could be later this year before North Carolina's case sees any resolution, though it's uncertain whether it would come before the 2018 election. Candidate filing is scheduled to begin Feb. 12.

​The Census Bureau is conducting Boundary and Annexation Survey workshops in three locations across North Carolina next month: Wilmington, Feb. 12; Durham, Feb. 13; and Charlotte, Feb. 14. The workshops will provide an overview of the 2020 Census Geographic Partnership Programs, the 2018 BAS, and demonstrations for creating a digital and paper response for completing the BAS. To register, please RSVP by emailing your name, phone number, workshop location and BAS participation method type to ​with a generic subject of: RSVP to [Insert City, State] BAS Workshop, by Feb 5.

​Four local airports have received grants totaling $13 million for improvements. The funds, from state and federal sources, come via the N.C. Department of Transportation's Division of Aviation, which notes the airports' importance to the regional and global economies. According to a news release, Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport received $167,000 for a sewer expansion; Curtis L. Brown Jr. Field in Elizabethtown received $265,000 toward a new airport industrial park; Odell Williamson Municipal Airport in Ocean Isle Beach received $33,000 for a new perimenter fence; and Raleigh-Durham International Airport received $12.5 million for taxiway rehabilitation. "From commercial airports that are among the world’s busiest to rural airports that support farms and manufacturers, each is a vital part of a connected transportation infrastructure," the release said. "To keep North Carolina moving, the state requires a top-class system of airports that transports people and cargo while attracting business investments from all over the world." The industry in North Carolina contributes $31 billion to the state economy each year and represents 123,400 jobs.