It’s been a busy week at the legislature this week! Two bills supported by TAA have passed the House – HB 406 Repeal of Orange County Impact Fees and HB 706 Landlord/Tenant-Alias & Pluries Summary Ejectment (Private Process Server). Both of these bills have major impacts on the apartment industry in the Triangle.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Sarah Stevens (R-Surry, Wilkes) who also introduced another bill dealing with impact fees – HB 436 Local Government/Regulatory Fees. Initially, this bill would have eliminated ALL impact fees throughout North Carolina. The bill eventually transformed into a study bill that, if passed, would freeze all impact fees at their levels as of June 30, 2016, for one year as the General Assembly studies how impact fees should be implemented throughout the state. The discussions have been to create a formula-based solution that municipalities can use.
In NC, municipalities must be granted authority from the General Assembly to collect impact fees. Only a few actually have the ability, while many others are collecting fees without the authority. This could be dangerous for many municipalities and open them up to multiple lawsuits. Most municipalities are aware of the recent Quality Built Homes vs. Town of Carthage case, in which the North Carolina Supreme Court generally found that cities, counties, and towns do not have broad legal authority to charge up-front water and sewer fees to developers to fund future system improvements. The General Assembly will be addressing this issue further to ensure municipalities are within compliance of the law and not overreaching.
HB 406 and 436 have passed the House, sent to the Senate, and has now been referred to the Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate. Please continue to contact Senators and encourage them to support HB 406!
This has been a hot issue over the last several years and has met strong opposition from the Sherriff’s Association. Initially, it was a state-wide bill, but in an effort to address the Sherriffs Association’s concerns, the bill will only affect counties with a population over 200,000. These counties include Buncombe, Cumberland, Durham, Forsyth, Gaston, Guilford, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, Union, and Wake. The Sherriffs’ concerns are that it will negatively affect their revenue, especially in rural counties. The Sherriff is required to serve the summons within five calendar days, but the failure rate for Wake and Durham counties is 30% and 20.6% respectively. With the heavy workload of the Sherriff, HB 706 addresses our issue of time and effectiveness.
HB 706 passed the House (92-26) and is now headed for the Senate. Please contact your Senators and encourage them to support HB 706!
We appreciate your calls and emails to House Representatives urging them to support these bills! Your help and involvement are key to the passage of legislation that has a positive impact on you and your business. If there are any questions or if you would like more information, please contact Jacob Rogers, TAA Government Affairs Director.
And remember, “If we’re not at the table, we’re on the menu.”