NCACC Legislative Brief
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Week of February 24 - Summary of Proposed Legislation Potentially Impacting Counties

The pace at the General Assembly picked up this week with more committees meeting to consider and pass legislation. House and Senate members officially began the budget process with joint Appropriations Committee meetings throughout the week to get up to speed on state finances, recent budget changes, and possible budget pressures facing appropriators this biennium. On Monday the Senate sent the first bill of the session to the Governor's desk passing H39 Amend Appointments UNC Bd. of Governors. The Governor has yet to take action on the bill.
The NCACC is working on draft legislation to address a number of county goals as well as discussing goals with budgetary impacts with appropriations members. The NCACC and counties will be advocating for school capital revenue, transportation infrastructure, funding to support raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction, and support for behavioral health improvements during this process.
Proposed Legislation: H6 Ed. Finance Reform Task Force/PED Report
  • Establishes an 18-member legislative task force to make changes to the state’s school operations funding formula
  • Have seen much discussion related to county commissioner role in funding process
  • Passed 106-5
Potential Impact to Counties
  • Over time could change the amount of funding particular counties receive from the state for school operations
Related County Goal
  • Could potentially impact progress on NCACC Priority Goal 1: Seek legislation to establish a new state-county partnership to address statewide public school capital challenges--including but not limited to maintenance, renovation, construction and debt--through a dedicated, stable funding stream that is consistent from county to county and sufficient to meet the school facility needs of all 100 counties.
Proposed Legislation: H141/S92 Maintenance Bonds for Subdivision Roads
  • Requires developer of subdivision to purchase bond to ensure roads maintained until they become part of state road system
  • Prevents deterioration of road system that costs homeowners money or prevents roads from joining state system
  • Referred to House State and Local Government
Potential Impact to Counties
  • Establishes a maintenance bond process for publicly-dedicated subdivision roads thereby enabling better access for emergency vehicles, school buses and residents
Related County Goal
  • Would accomplish NCACC General Government goal 2: Seek legislation to authorize counties to require HOAs or developers to post maintenance bonds for publicly dedicated subdivision roads, require DOT to expedite acceptance of subdivision roads into the state road system, and implement a statewide approach to maintaining pre-subdivision ordinance roads
Proposed Legislation: H158/S118 Special Assessments/Critical Infrastructure
  • Clarifies authority for local governments to impose special assessment to pay for critical infrastructure projects
  • Requires a public hearing on project before assessment
  • Almost became law last session
Potential Impact to Counties
  • Possibly provides counties with a new avenue for funding critical infrastructure projects
Proposed Legislation: H177 Eliminate Second Primaries
  • Revises the current primaries election process to designate the highest vote-getter as the winner
  • In case of a tie, Board of Elections will determine the winner
  • Referred to House Rules
Potential Impact to Counties
  • Counties would save money under this arrangement as it would eliminate the need to hold second primaries
Proposed Legislation: H63 Citizens Protection Act of 2017
  • Includes several provisions including reducing identify theft by increasing penalties for the manufacture or sale of counterfeit documents, creating a rebuttable presumption against the pretrial release of certain undocumented aliens and enacting a penalty for cities and counties that violate state laws related to sanctuary cities
  • Heard in Judiciary II Committee but not voted on
Potential Impact to Counties
  • Would penalize counties with loss of certain revenues for violating certain immigration laws
Proposed Legislation: H100 Restore Partisan Elections/Superior & District Court
  • Includes party affiliation on ballots for candidates running for superior and district court judge seats
  • Would go into effect for 2018 elections
  • Passed House 65-51 on February 23
Potential Impact to Counties
  • No impact of consequence to counties
Proposed Legislation: H113 Pvt Action Local Compliance/Immigration Laws
  • Would allow citizens to sue counties for violating immigration laws and penalize the government up to $10,000/day
  • Introduced last week but has not been heard
  • Referred to Judiciary I and State & Local Government Committees, which are not scheduled
Potential Impact to Counties
  • Could significantly impact county budgets
Proposed Legislation: H171 Change Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems
  • Reduces the property tax exemption for solar panel facilities from 80% of the value of the property to 60%
  • Referred to House Committee on Energy and Public Utilities
Potential Impact to Counties
  • Could increase property tax revenues for counties
Proposed Legislation: S126 Change the LOST Adjustment Factor
  • Changes local option sales tax distribution formula from a county-by-county formula to one based on the state’s economic development tier system
  • Referred to Senate Rules
Potential Impact to Counties
  • Counties would be impacted differently, depending on how the distribution formula is defined

North Carolina Counties' Five Priority Goals

  1. Seek legislation to establish a new state-county partnership to address statewide public school capital challenges--including but not limited to maintenance, renovation, construction and debt--through a dedicated, stable funding stream that is consistent from county to county and sufficient to meet the school facility needs of all 100 counties.
  2. Seek legislation to repeal the statutory authority under N.C. Gen. Stat. 115C-431(c) that allows a local school board to file suit against a county board of commissioners over county appropriations for education.
  3. Support efforts to preserve and expand the existing local revenue base of counties, and oppose efforts to divert to the state fees or taxes currently allocated to the counties to the state. Oppose efforts to erode existing county revenue streams and authorize local option revenue sources already given to any other jurisdiction.
  4. Support increased state funding for transportation construction and maintenance needs, and support legislation to ensure that the STI funding formula recognizes that one size does not fit all and that projects in both rural and urban areas are prioritized and funded.
  5. Support legislation and funding to raise the Age of Juvenile Jurisdiction from 16 to 18 with the exception of felony crimes.

Go to to review North Carolina counties’ complete 2017-18 legislative agenda.

Click here to view the latest episode of This Week at the General Assembly, the NCACC's made for government television show on legislation affecting county governments in the North Carolina General Assembly. 
Copyright © 2017 North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, All rights reserved.

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