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.
The House unveiled its long awaited regulatory reform bill (SB 303 Regulatory Reform Act of 2016) on Wednesday. The 38 page, omnibus legislation encompasses a wide range of provisions which will ease the regulatory burden on the public and benefit the business community. Among its provisions is one which would exclude land obtained by will or intestate succession from subdivision regulation. Another provision would provide a 3 year statute of limitations on land use violations. Finally, a provision was included that would require the NC State Building Code Council to study building code efficiency and identify duplicate inspections within the code. SB 303 passed both the House Regulatory Reform and Finance Committees and likely be calendared for a House floor vote early next week.
Not to be out done, the Senate continued work on its own regulatory reform bill (HB 169 Regulatory Reduction Act of 2016) this week. The legislation received its second approval from the Rules Committee on Wednesday and will most likely be sent to the Senate floor next week. It is anticipated that additional regulatory reform legislation may appear before the end of the session.
The Senate Judiciary I committee continued its work on HB 283 Prevent Squatting in Foreclosed Real Property on Thursday. The proposed committee substitute enhances the penalty for a person trespassing after initial removal from a property in which they present false documents to obtain reentry. The bill cleared Committee and will head to the Senate floor in the coming days. Executive VP Mike Carpenter worked with the bill’s sponsor to ensure that an earlier version of it did not affect legitimate liens filed by builder and subcontractors.
SB 363 (Wage & Hour/Local Government Assessments/Parks) was sent back to the House Rules Committee on Tuesday for another look. As noted last week’s update, this bill would allow a county or city to fund an infrastructure project, at the request of a property owner, with funds from a private entity to be reimbursed through future assessments on the benefitted property. This option would be entirely voluntary and is anticipated to produce lower finished lot costs for builders.
Finally, one of NCHBA’s top session priorities, HB 483 (Land Use Regulatory Changes) was re-referred on Wednesday from the Senate Rules Committee to the Senate Judiciary I Committee. This bill has passed the House last year but was held over to work on the bill’s language between the sessions. We anticipate that it will be calendared for committee action soon.