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June 28 Jones Street Update

Budget conference report sent to the Governor

After a significant amount of negotiation between both chambers of the General Assembly, as well as with the Governor the House and Senate passed a conference committee report to House Bill 966 on Thursday. While this vote meets the June 30 deadline, Governor Cooper has signaled his intent to veto the bill, placing the final budget in a state of limbo.

As an important note, due to change in state law last session, the lack of an approved budget will not force the state government into a shutdown. Without an approved budget, government programs’ funding will be based on the most recent approved budget (i.e., the 2018 Appropriations Act) until an agreement is reached.

The NC REALTORS® Lobbying Team continues to review the entire conference committee report and will provide additional updates if needed. Below is a list of items of interest to NC REALTORS® which were included in the report.

Housing Finance Agency

  • NC Housing Trust Fund: $7.66 million per year for both fiscal years
  • HOME Match: $3 million per year for both fiscal years
  • Workforce Housing Loan Program: $20m during FY 19-20, but no allocated funding in FY 20-21

Extends the sunset of the Historic Preservation Tax Credits until 2024 and reinstates the Mill Rehab Tax Credits for income producing properties.

Creates a new course required for high school graduation which teaches financial literacy.

NC REALTORS® Legislative Priorities Approved in Committee

As we told you last week, thanks to a significant amount of work by the NC REALTORS® Lobbying Team, in partnership with multiple stakeholders, important NC REALTORS® Legislative Priorities are picking up steam and moving through the legislative process.

On Wednesday, House Bill 620 “Street Database/Manual/Public Record Except.” was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee. An amendment was made to the bill which made changes to the information which is required to be included in the property’s plat following significant discussion with the bill’s sponsors. While the bill did pass with the language included, it will likely be removed on the Senate floor due to concerns raised by the NC Society of Surveyors. Stakeholders have all agreed to continue working on this issue during the interim to reach resolution. At the time of publication, the bill has not been calendared for a hearing in the Senate Rules Committee, its last stop before the Senate floor.

On Thursday, Senate Bill 86 “Small Business Health Care Act” was heard by House Health Committee. The committee considered a version which mirrored that of House Bill 464, focusing on the establishment of a new Association Health Plan structure. The bill passed with a unanimous vote in committee and will be heard by the House Rules Committee when they return from the July 4 recess. If passed by the House, the bill will be returned to the Senate for concurrence due to the significant changes.

Also on Thursday, the Senate Commerce Committee passed Senate Bill 590 “Modify Continuing Ed for Real Estate Brokers”. This bill makes updates to the statutes regarding education providers to allow for the opportunity for newer types of education offerings. It also clarifies the statutes related to time-share salespersons to grant them the same flexibility as that of new home salespersons.

Keep watching the REALTOR® Advocate for additional updates as these and other bills move forward.

Governor signs repeal of Map Act signaling a huge win for property owners

On June 12 the General Assembly gave final approval for House Bill 131 “Repeal Map Act”. This legislation repeals North Carolina General Statute 47-30 which has been colloquially referred to as the Map Act. This statute allowed the North Carolina Department of Transportation to protect property and areas for future corridor development. While the allowance was used in some cases for protection of areas which led to the development of the intended corridors, unfortunately in many others is was not. Across the state, NCDOT created “maps” which showed future roadway corridors but which had no direct plans for being constructed. Property owners were restricted in their use of the property included in the maps and in some cases, it was almost impossible to convey it to another buyer.

Multiple lawsuits were filed against the state alleging an unlawful taking. To date, the courts have consistently found in favor of the property owners and it is expected that the state may be required to compensate those affected.

The General Assembly had previously instituted a moratorium on the usage of the Map Act while many of the cases were decided but that was set to expire on July 1. Therein lay the reason for the repeal legislation.

Both chambers passed House Bill 131 unanimously and on June 21, Governor Cooper signed it into law.

For property owners, this means that they won’t have to worry about their property being indiscriminately caught up in a protected corridor that may never see future development. All in all, a great win for property owners.

Be Epic. Be an NC REALTOR®.