NAIOP Members Talk Economic Development Issues at General Assembly

Moore

Members of NAIOP Charlotte meet with House Speaker Tim Moore in Raleigh

Members of the Charlotte chapter of NAIOP traveled to Raleigh this week for the commercial development association’s annual Day at the Capitol, and participated in a highly successful day of advocacy that included meetings with key members of the General Assembly.

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Meeting with Representative Bill Brawley

In meetings with Senate President Pro-Tem Phil Berger, House Speaker Tim Moore, and numerous legislators from Mecklenburg County and across the state, NAIOP members talked about the importance of regulatory reform and economic development initiatives that would help ensure North Carolina continues to attract new jobs.

NAIOP’s 2016 Day at the Capitol was a tremendous success, and gave members the unique opportunity to participate in direct conversations with North Carolina leaders on efforts to improve our state’s business climate.

Real Estate Industry Wins Big in Longest General Assembly Session in Ten Years

The curtain finally came down this week on a 10-month General Assembly session that delivered the real estate industry some of its biggest legislative wins in decades.

When legislators adjourned shortly after 4 a.m. Wednesday morning, they concluded an historic session that saw the passage of key bills to spur economic development, cut regulation, and protect consumer choice. Here’s a summary of the biggest legislative wins for home builders, Realtors®, commercial and multifamily developers, and brokers: Continue reading

State Budget Signed into Law as General Assembly Begins to Wind Down

The state budget that Governor McCrory signed into law last week is as notable for what it does NOT include as for what it does.

After weeks of speculation over provisions dealing with sales tax redistribution, economic development incentives and regulatory reform, the final product that finally emerged from a House-Senate conference committee is a surprisingly balanced spending plan with a number of big wins for Charlotte’s business and real estate communities. Here are some of the highlights: Continue reading

North Carolina House Overwhelmingly Rejects Senate’s Sales Tax Redistribution Proposal

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Representatives Jason Saine and Bill Brawley (at podium) join other House members last week at a bipartisan rally to oppose the Senate’s Sales Tax Redistribution proposal.

The North Carolina House last week overwhelmingly rejected a Senate substitute to HB 117, the ‘NC Competes Act,’ because of language that would redistribute a larger portion of locally generated sales tax revenue statewide, likely forcing metropolitan counties like Mecklenburg to raise property taxes and fees to make up the difference.

The Senate’s proposal for a 50/50 Sales Tax Distribution between point of sale and county population was included in the economic development bill along with provisions to fund the JDIG job incentives program, expand data center tax incentives, and extend for four years the airline fuel tax exemption for American Airlines.

But the ‘compromise’ language on sales tax redistribution (the original Senate proposal redistributed 80% of local sales taxes statewide, compared to 25% under current law) was opposed by business leaders and elected officials from North Carolina’s largest metropolitan counties, who traveled to Raleigh last week to speak against the bill.  Continue reading

NC Senate Unveils New Tax Redistribution, Economic Development Proposal

Senate leaders yesterday unveiled and approved a new Finance committee substitute to HB 117, the ‘NC Competes Act,’ with a new proposal for a 50/50 Sales Tax Distribution between point of sale and county population (the original bill redistributed 80% of local sales taxes statewide, compared to 25% under current law). The new ‘compromise’ language represents an effort by the Senate to reach a budget agreement with the House, after nearly three weeks of largely unproductive negotiations. Continue reading

Senate Tax Redistribution Plan Could Cost Mecklenburg County $50 Million a Year in Revenue

As members of the House and Senate meet behind closed doors next month to negotiate a state budget, a number of contentious issues will be on the table for debate, including funding of the JDIG job incentives program, a cap on the standard deduction, and an expansion of the sales tax on services.

But it’s the proposal for redistribution of locally collected sales tax dollars that’s causing the most heartburn for Mecklenburg and other urban counties. The current formula sends 75% of sales taxes back to the county where they were collected, and redistributes the remaining 25% statewide on a per-capita basis. Under the Senate’s proposal, that formula would gradually shift over the next four years to one that redistributes a whopping 80% of locally collected sales taxes statewide, on a per-capita basis.

That would mean Mecklenburg County stands to lose as much as $213 million over the next four years, based on revenue projections by the County Manager’s office. A loss of that magnitude would likely necessitate a property tax increase of as much as 5 to 7 percent. Continue reading

North Carolina Senate Approves Legislation to End Use of Rezoning Protest Petitions

By a vote of 39 – 10, the North Carolina Senate this morning approved HB 201, ‘Zoning Changes/Citizen Input’, which would repeal the North Carolina Protest Petition statute and eliminate a tool frequently used by neighborhood groups to force concessions from property owners and developers. The bill will go back to the House in mid-July for a concurrence vote, and then to the Governor’s desk, where Pat McCrory has indicated he WILL sign the legislation.

HB 201 would eliminate a longstanding state law allowing neighbors in the immediate vicinity of a proposed development to force the applicant to secure a supermajority of affirmative votes from the city or town council for rezoning approval. If as few as 5 percent of the neighbors within 100′ of the property line sign and submit a valid Protest Petition to the local planning department, they can obtain enough leverage to force financial or design concessions from the property owner or developer that would otherwise be difficult if just a simple majority vote were required for the rezoning.

No other action taken by local government action requires a supermajority vote.

The House approved the legislation in late March by an 81 – 31 margin, and is expected to concur with the bill when it comes back to the chamber sometime after the General Assembly’s July recess.

Much credit is due to the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA), which led the fight for this legislation, as well as NAIOP North Carolina, the Apartment Association of North Carolina, and the Charlotte Commercial Board of Realtors®, whose members provided much-needed support.