With lawmakers hitting a new single-week high for bill filing, several address municipal advocacy goals. Representatives of North Carolina's cities and towns met in late 2018 to set their list of shared legislative goals in areas like public infrastructure, fiscal health, and municipal authority. On Wednesday, HB 497 landed to propose that Hickory receive a quarter-cent local-option sales tax (only after local voter approval) to raise proceeds for public safety, economic development, and public facilities, lining up with a goal of providing municipalities additional, locally controlled revenue. Another proposal, HB 528, surfaced Thursday to provide the towns of Indian Trail and Stallings new occupancy tax authority (again, only with local voter approval) in special districts to support the area's tourism economy. HB 458 Henderson Meals Tax, filed Wednesday, would authorize that city to levy a prepared food and beverage tax by local resolution following public notice and a public hearing. We've reported on other local revenue proposals in recent bulletins. Also recently highlighted was HB 159 State Search and Rescue Funding, which this week found a companion bill in the Senate. SB 396, like HB 159, would appropriate $2.3 million in recurring funds for each of the next two fiscal years to support search and rescue activities undertaken in partnership with local governments. That gets at a statewide municipal goal of additional resources in public safety efforts.
The League has released its annual Revenue Projections Memo detailing next year’s forecasts for all of the major state-collected municipal revenues -- including sales taxes, electricity and natural gas sales taxes, Powell Bill, and more. This year’s memo is supplemented by an interactive online format of all the data and graphs discussed in the memo. Both of these items, as well as our Basis of Tax Distribution memo and the annual Sales Tax Calculator file, can all be found on the League's website. Questions can be directed to Chris Nida or Caitlin Saunders.