Real Estate Industry Legislative Priorities Continue to Advance in Raleigh

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Despite the ongoing stalemate over the state budget, legislation supported by the real estate and home building industry continues to make progress in Raleigh. Over the past few weeks, Governor Cooper has signed into law a variety of bills supported by the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA), the North Carolina Realtors®, NAIOP North Carolina, and other trade groups. Here’s a summary of some of the key laws that will benefit the residential and commercial real estate industries in the years ahead: Continue reading

NC Home Builders Support Continuing Ed Legislation

legislative_building_5One of the top legislative priorities of the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA) took a big step forward last week as Representatives Larry Potts (R-Davidson), Mark Brody (R-Union), Julia Howard (R-Davie) and Ashton Clemmons (D-Guilford) introduced HB 162 – Continuing Education for General Contractors, (i.e., “CE for GCs”).

The bill would require all general contractors, home builders, and anyone with an unclassified licence to complete eight hours of continuing education annually. Two of those hours would have to be a mandatory course approved by the State Licensing Board for General Contractors, while the remainder can be approved electives.

HB 162 has been referred to the House Regulatory Reform Committee, but no hearing has yet been scheduled. There is also a companion Senate bill, SB 55 Continuing Education for General Contractors, sponsored by Rick Gunn (R-Alamance), Paul Newton (R-Cabarrus), and Don Davis (D-Greene).

The Carolina Associated General Contractors (CAGC) is also supportive of the legislation, which would take effect January 1st, 2020, if it becomes law.

General Assembly Adjourns, Sending Key Building Industry Bills to Governor

legislative_building_5The 2017 Session of the North Carolina General Assembly adjourned at 2 a.m. on June 30th, after one of the most hectic weeks of legislative activity in memory. With much left undone, legislators announced they will return to Raleigh on August 3rd to consider a limited range of topics (e.g., any veto overrides, bills that were in conference at the end of the session, potential redistricting issues). Further action on other legislation must wait for next year’s “short” session, set to convene on May 16, 2018.

The key legislation for the real estate and building industry are summarized below: Continue reading

General Assembly Begins to Address Local Impact Fee Authority

The North Carolina General Assembly is starting to take a close — and skeptical — look at the development Impact Fees charged by local governments across the state, and some big changes could be on the way in the months ahead.

Last week, the House State and Local Government I Committee heard two bills dealing with impact fees.  Representative Sarah Stevens (R-Surry) introduced two bills in March regarding impact fees which were authorized by the General Assembly more than 30 years ago.  The first, HB 406 Repeal Orange County Impact Fee, would strip Orange County of its ability to impose impact fees. Stevens noted that Orange County recently modified its impact fee structure causing the fee for a multi-family project to increase from $302,000 to $1,593,000. Impact fees for single family residences built in Orange County have been in excess of $10,000 per house.

The second bill, HB 436 Local Government/Regulatory Fees, would prohibit the future imposition of impact fees by cities and counties, and would repeal all existing authority for the twenty municipalities and three counties who were granted this authority pursuant to local acts passed primarily between 1985 and 1989. Continue reading

State House Passes Regulatory Reform Bill

The NC House of Representatives today gave final approval to a 44-page Regulatory Reform bill that contains several critical provisions for residential and commercial developers.

SB 131, ‘Regulatory Reform Act of 2016-2017’, was approved by the House on Thursday by a vote of 84-27, and now heads back to the Senate for a concurrence vote. Among the dozens of reforms it contains, two are of particular interest to developers:

Energy Efficiency Code Exemptions – Section 1.4 of the bill excludes from state Energy Efficiency Code requirements any buildings with the following use classifications:

  • Factory Group F
  • Storage Group S
  • Utility & Miscellaneous Group U

Furthermore, an amendment suggested by REBIC and introduced by Representative Bill Brawley ensures that the energy code exclusion ‘shall apply to the entire floor area of any structure’ included in the provision. This language was intended to prevent the office or showroom portion of a warehouse, industrial or manufacturing building from having to meet energy efficiency code requirements, when the majority of the structure does not.

Stream Mitigation Requirements – Section 3.13 of the bill amends stream mitigation requirements to allow developers to disturb up to 300′ of stream bed before mitigation is required, unless otherwise prohibited by federal law. Current law requires mitigation whenever 150′ or more is disturbed. This provision would bring North Carolina in line with stream mitigation requirements in neighboring states.

REBIC is continuing to review additional provisions in the Regulatory Reform bill, and will provide additional updates in the coming weeks on how this important piece of legislation affects your business.

Home Builders Notch Legislative Win with Passage of Changes to State Sales Tax Law

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NCHBA lobbyists Steven Webb, Mike Carpenter and Tim Minton on the floor of the State Senate as the General Assembly’s Short Session draws to a close.                      (Photo Credit – NCHBA)

No single piece of legislation passed by the North Carolina General Assembly this year will have a bigger impact on home builders and remodelers than HB 1030 (2016 Appropriations Act).  The finance portion of this legislation contains a number of important tax law changes that modify the taxation of repair, maintenance and installation (RMI) services, which became effective on March 1 of this year.

Continue reading

Real Estate Industry Bills on the Move in the General Assembly

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Source: North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA):

Another busy legislative week in Raleigh was capped off with the House officially voting not to concur with the Senate’s budget plan.  On Wednesday, the full House voted unanimously to reject the $22.2 billion plan which will send the measure to a conference committee to work out the differences in the two chambers’ versions. There seems to be a sense of cautious optimism that a deal can be struck in a reasonable amount of time.

The Senate budget plan includes largely favorable modifications to the current state law on sales and use tax provisions applicable to repair, maintenance and installation. NCHBA has worked closely with legislators and staff over the past few months to help craft these changes. We will continue to work with the House leadership to address these matters now that they are a part of the overall budget conference committee’s agenda. Continue reading