Filtered by category: Legislative Clear Filter

Real Estate Industry Legislative Priorities Continue to Advance in Raleigh

Posted on August 13, 2019

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:

  • HB 675 — 2019 Building Code Regulatory Reform, sponsored by Representatives Mark Brody (R-Union), Dennis Riddell (R-Alamance), Jon Hardister (R-Guilford), and Billy Richardson (D-Cumberland). This is the fifth successful bill over the past several sessions of major reforms to the state building code and inspections process Key provisions in this year’s act include:
    • Prohibits local governments from requiring developers/builders to bury existing power lines or bury relocated power lines that are located outside the subdivision.
    • Prohibits local governments from setting minimum square footage requirements for residential structures.
    • Requires the North Carolina Building Code Council to conduct a cost/benefit analysis for all proposed changes to the North Carolina Energy Conservation Code since January 1, 2018.
    • Requires the North Carolina Building Code Council to create an inspection form to be used by engineers and architects and clarifies that they can inspect foundations and underslabs.
    • Adds a new level of inspector, residential changeout inspector, to assist with minor inspections.
    • Requires that a local government chooses to have plan review that the initial review for residential building plans must be performed within fifteen (15) business days after submission.
    • Requires that a local government can issue a temporary certificate of occupancy if the requirements of the NC Building Code are met.
  • HB 492 — Simplify Builder Inventory Exclusion, sponsored by Representatives Mark Brody (R-Union), Julia Howard (R-Davie), and Brian Turner (D-Buncombe), will eliminate the need for a builder to file annually in order to take advantage of an important property tax exclusion.The new law permits a builder to file a one-time application to claim an exemption from higher property taxes on land and houses held for sale by a builder to the extent that the tax increase is attributable to subdivision of the property or improvements made such as the installation of infrastructure or the construction of a single-family or duplex house on the property.
  • HB 620 — Street Database/Manual/Public Record Exemption, requires the North Carolina Department of Transportation to create a “Public Street Information Database”, by 01/10/20 and update it regularly, for the purpose of conveying the status of roads within the State. This publicly-available database will indicate whether the road is (1) federally owned, (2) State-owned with State road number assigned, or (3) State-maintained with a State road number assigned.
  • SB 355 — Land-Use Regulatory Changes, sponsored by Senators Dan Bishop (R-Mecklenburg), Paul Newton (R-Cabarrus) and Sam Searcy (D-Wake), helps level the playing field between landowners and local governments by integrating permit choice and vesting laws to ensure that the rules are not changed in the middle of a development project. In addition, the law:
    • Protects landowners against 3rd party rezoning efforts
    • Allows certain claims to bypass the Board of Adjustment and proceed to Superior Court.
    • Places limits on conditional zoning abuse, while preserving flexibility for developers.
  • SB 523 — Revenue Laws Clarifying & Administrative Changes, requires Property Management companies to charge and remit RMI sales tax only in the following circumstances:
    1. They provide repair, maintenance, installation services for an additional charge above what is stated in the management contract.
    2. They arrange for a third party to provide the repair, maintenance, and installation services and impose an additional charge for arranging these services.
    3. More than twenty-five percent (25%) of the time spent managing an individual real property during a billing or invoice period is attributable to taxable repair, maintenance, and installation services. The property manager can voluntarily provide a written affidavit to attest that no more than 25% of their services on a given property constitute taxable RMI services, which would clear them of liability for taxation on any portion of the contract amount.

Source: NCHBA & NC Realtors®

Governor Cooper Signs Law Clarifying Taxation of Property Management Contracts

Posted on July 30, 2019

Governor Roy Cooper last week signed into law a bill supported by REBIC, the North Carolina Association of Realtors® (NCR), NAIOP Charlotte, BOMA Greater Charlotte, and other industry trade groups, clarifying that residential and commercial Property Management agreements are largely not subject to the state’s Repair, Maintenance & Installation (RMI) sales tax.

SB 523 — Revenue Laws Clarifying & Administrative Changes, passed the General Assembly earlier this month with an amendment that requires Property Management companies to charge and remit RMI sales tax only in the following circumstances:

  1. They provide repair, maintenance, installation services for an additional charge above what is stated in the management contract.
  2. They arrange for a third party to provide the repair, maintenance, and installation services and impose an additional charge for arranging these services.
  3. More than twenty-five percent (25%) of the time spent managing an individual real property during a billing or invoice period is attributable to taxable repair, maintenance, and installation services. The property manager can voluntarily provide a written affidavit to attest that no more than 25% of their services on a given property constitute taxable RMI services, which would clear them of liability for taxation on any portion of the contract amount.

The legislation also provides specific exclusions to RMI services, which help ensure much of the work done by property management companies is not subject to taxation. They are:

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Debt Ceiling Talks Continue as Senators Reintroduce Energy Bill

Posted on July 25, 2019

Republican Rob Portman of Ohio and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire reintroduced a bipartisan bill in the Senate last week. S.2137 aims to improve energy efficiency in buildings, industrial facilities, and throughout the federal government.

NAIOP supports legislation that ensures that energy-efficiency building codes are developed subject to the federal rule-making process.

“This bill is a win-win, creating nearly 200,000 new jobs and protecting our environment—all without a single new tax or mandate,” Senator Portman said. Senator Shaheen added: “Our bipartisan legislation would create jobs in the private sector, save families and businesses money, and drastically reduce pollution in a smart, effective and affordable way.”

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Lawmakers Address Infrastructure and the Debt Ceiling as Recess Approaches

Posted on July 19, 2019

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing last week on the need for a multiyear reauthorization of highway transportation infrastructure programs. Expanded infrastructure investment, for surface transportation and for broader infrastructure needs, is one of NAIOP’s 2019 legislative priority issues.

While the issue is often described as an area where bipartisan cooperation is possible, Congress is divided on how to pay for any new programs, and the Trump administration has not submitted a detailed legislative proposal to Congress. 

The Senate committee hearing is a first step in moving legislation reauthorizing highway programs. “It is our shared goal to advance a bill out of committee this summer,” Republican committee chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) said. “In our legislation, we must reduce the time it takes for federal permitting, we need to lower paperwork burdens on states, and we need to incorporate innovative construction approaches and other technologies.”

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City of Charlotte Progresses in Enhancing Development Services

Posted on July 17, 2019

On July 8, Charlotte City Council voted to approve construction of the first floor of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center for a collaborative, multidepartmental development permitting facility.

Known as the CLT Development Center, the space will provide developers and design teams access to city review staff in a single location for city development permitting services. This initiative brings together staff from all departments involved in permitting to create a more collaborative culture with new services to better meet customer needs.

“The CLT Development Center is the product of our efforts to have collaborative partnerships with the development community,” said City Manager Marcus D. Jones. “We are excited to bring new, innovative ways to work together to create great projects for Charlotte.”

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REBIC Successfully Advocates for Noise Ordinance Fixes for Construction Sites

Posted June 27, 2019

Charlotte City Council voted Monday night on controversial amendments to the Noise Ordinance, but REBIC and our partner associations have successfully advocated for the removal of a highly problematic provision that impacted home builders, developers and general contractors.

Among its many provisions, the amendments under consideration on Monday would allow the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) to designate specific construction sites as ‘chronic noise producers’ and require the creation of a formal plan to mitigate noise impacts on surrounding neighborhoods. This designation is already used (though very sparingly) to address issues that arise with other businesses, like bars and nightclubs.

Click here to read more.

NC Senate Passes Legislation to Clarify Taxation of Property Management Contracts

Posted June 26, 2019

The North Carolina Senate this week advanced legislation supported by REBIC, the North Carolina Association of Realtors® (NCR), NAIOP Charlotte, and other industry trade groups that would clarify that residential and commercial Property Management agreements are largely not subject to the state’s Repair, Maintenance & Installation (RMI) sales tax.

SB 523 — Revenue Laws Clarifying & Administrative Changes, passed the Senate on Thursday with an amendment that requires Property Management companies to charge and remit RMI sales tax only in the following circumstances:

  1. They provide repair, maintenance, installation services for an additional charge above what is stated in the management contract.
  2. They arrange for a third party to provide the repair, maintenance, and installation services and impose an additional charge for arranging these services.
  3. More than twenty-five percent (25%) of the time spent managing an individual real property during a billing or invoice period is attributable to taxable repair, maintenance, and installation services. The property manager can voluntarily provide a written affidavit to attest that no more than 25% of their services on a given property constitute taxable RMI services, which would clear them of liability for taxation on any portion of the contract amount.
Click here to read more.

Charlotte Proposes Revising Tree Ordinance Requirements for Urban Sites

Posted June 18, 2019

Charlotte's planning staff is working on a proposal to amend the City's Tree Ordinance in an attempt to make it easier for urban infill sites to comply. The draft proposal, created through a stakeholder process that included representatives from REBIC, neighborhood groups and environmental advocates, would provide for better integration of trees into small residential and commercial projects, potentially minimizing the need for offsite mitigation. The proposal does not reduce the total amount of trees required on a site, however.

Some of the proposed changes include:

  • An option to create an Amenitized Tree Area that can help meet the tree save requirement though an impervious, passive use space.
  • The ability to plant trees in alternative locations, such as on rooftops, in planters and plazas, and over parking decks.
  • Reduced spacing for street tree planting, when necessitated by site conditions.
  • Alternative location options for trees required for parking spaces in urban townhome projects.

The changes would apply only to urban zoning districts (UMUDD, MUDD, TOD, UR, NS, PED and TS), along with any project with ground-floor nonresidential uses. The proposed changes are expected to go to City Council for consideration in September.

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NC Legislative Update

Posted June 17, 2019

Last week saw multiple pieces of legislation receive consideration.

House Bill 131 “Repeal Map Act.” received final approval by the Senate on Wednesday. It has now been sent to the Governor for his signature. As we discussed last week, this legislation would formally repeal the state’s Map Act which has been in place for more than thirty years. Enacted initially to give the Department of Transportation the ability to identify land to be used in future transportation corridors, it has been found to have been used to hold lands in perpetuity with no just compensation to the property owner nor actual projects being scheduled/funded. If approved by the Governor, this will be a significant win for property rights in North Carolina.

Senate Bill 573 “Revenue Laws Clarifying & Administrative Changes” received a favorable report from the Senate Finance  and Senate Rules committees this week. Included in this 41-page bill are additional clarifications to the repair, maintenance, and installation (RMI) tax requirements in response to our advocacy on behalf of residential and commercial property managers. The legislation exempts certain RMI from taxation when performed by a property management company and clarifies when the taxes are required to be collected. Specifically, the bill  requires property management companies to charge and remit RMI sales tax only in the following circumstances:

  1. They provide repair, maintenance, installation services for an additional charge above what is stated in the management contract.
  2. They arrange for a third party to provide the repair, maintenance, and installation services and impose an additional charge for arranging these services.
  3. More than twenty-five percent (25%) of the time spent managing an individual real property during a billing or invoice period is attributable to taxable repair, maintenance, and installation services. The property manager can voluntarily provide a written affidavit to attest that no more than 25% of their services on a given property constitute taxable RMI services, which would clear them of liability for taxation on any portion of the contract amount.

Proposed 2019 Cabarrus County Developmental Services Fee Study

Posted on June 10, 2019

On Monday, June 3, 2019, proposed fee changes were presented to the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners by the Director of Planning and a consultant that assisted with the fee study.  Along with changes in the cost of permit fees, staff is proposing changing new construction permits to a single permit (blanket permits).

On June 19, 2019, Cabarrus County Planning staff is inviting builders to come to an open session from 1-3pm in the Multi-Purpose Room at the Cabarrus County Governmental Center.  During this session staff will discuss why these fees are being proposed, give examples of how fees are charged now, and what the fees would be if adopted as proposed.  Staff will be able to answer any questions and hear any feedback that you have. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Cabarrus County Government Resource Center - Multipurpose Room
65 Church Street S.
Concord, NC 28025



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Cabarrus County Proposes Massive Zoning Fee Increases

Posted on June 10, 2019

On Monday, June 3, 2019, proposed planning and zoning fee changes were presented to the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners, based on a recent study evaluating the potential to move to a full cost-recovery model. Along with changes in the cost of permit fees, staff is proposing changing new construction permits to a single permit (blanket permits).Cabarrus County Seal

On Wednesday, June 19, Cabarrus County Planning staff is inviting builders to come to an open session from 1-3 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room at the Cabarrus County Governmental Center.  During this session staff will discuss why these fees are being proposed, give examples of how fees are charged now, and what the fees would be if adopted as proposed.  Staff will be able to answer any questions and hear any feedback that you have.

Cabarrus County Development Fee Meeting

Wednesday, June 19

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Cabarrus County Government Resource Center – Multipurpose Room

65 Church Street S.

Concord, NC 28025

*It is very important that we have a strong showing at this meeting with staff*

 

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Proposed Mecklenburg County Budget Would Produce Higher Taxes for Most Property Owners

Posted on May 5, 2019

A significant number of Mecklenburg County property owners will see an increase in their tax bill this year under a budget proposal unveiled recently by County Manager Dena Diorio, which would adopt a tax rate almost 2 cents, or 3.3 percent, above revenue-neutral.

With an average property value increase of more than 50% following a countywide revaluation, the tax rate at which the County would collect the same amount of total revenue (known as the ‘revenue-neutral’ rate) is 59.7 cents per $100 of assessed value. The manager’s budget proposes a rate of 61.69 cents per $100, or 1.99 cents above revenue neutral. The impact of the higher rate means more than 65% of all Mecklenburg County homeowners, and more than 71% of all commercial property owners, will see higher tax bills this year.

Graphic 1

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Charlotte Proposes Tightening Noise Restrictions on Construction Sites

Posted on April 30, 2019

The City of Charlotte is considering revisions to its Noise Ordinance that would allow the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) to designate specific construction sites as 'chronic noise producers' and require a the creation of a formal plan to mitigate noise impacts on surrounding neighborhoods.

The changes, approved last week by City Council's Neighborhood Development Committee, are part of an extensive update of the 2011 Noise Ordinance, which also include the creation of noise buffers around schools, churches or health care facilities, and tighter restrictions on the use of amplified sound. In addition to giving CMPD the authority to make the chronic noise designation, the ordinance would create escalating fines for repeat violations and add specific examples of construction equipment for greater clarity.

The  proposed Noise Ordinance changes are available on the City's website. REBIC will be reviewing the ordinance with our general contractor members in the coming weeks to determine how to address the proposed changes.

City Council Approves New TOD Ordinance

Posted on April 23, 2019

The Charlotte City Council unanimously approved a new Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Ordinance, which sets standards for commercial and residential development in the city’s light rail corridor.

REBIC and our members worked closely with City planning staff on the ordinance over the past 18 months, and we are generally pleased with the final product. Many of our suggestions — from changes in maximum parking ratios to additional development incentives — were included in the final draft adopted by Council last week. Our only remaining significant concern remains the 130′ building height limitation, which can only be exceeded through the use of a bonus point system that encourages affordable housing investments, energy efficient construction, or the contribution of offsite infrastructure.

While we support each of these policy goals, we believe City Council should do everything possible to encourage density in our transit corridors, and not restrict itself from considering economic development opportunities that would otherwise be limited by the building height caps in each TOD district.

Click here to read more.

LUESA Proposes Dramatic Development Fee Hikes for FY 2020

Posted on April 8, 2019

Mecklenburg County LUESA is proposing dramatic increases to its Land Development, Zoning and Floodplain Permitting Fees for FY 2020, as it seeks to end a longstanding practice of supporting Land Development Services with excess stormwater fee revenue.

The proposed increases, combined with the elimination of two vacant stormwater positions, will allow Land Development Services to cover 100% of its operating costs, says Land Development Director Dave Canaan. With the Town of Huntersville starting its own land development permitting operation this summer, the County's Land Development Services division will handle projects in the five remaining towns and the ETJ. The City of Charlotte charges separate fees for land development permitting within its boundaries.

Both REBIC and the Greater Charlotte HBA have voiced our strong opposition to the proposed fees (listed below), which represent year-to-year increases of nearly 200% in some cases. Fees for multi-year projects will be phased in over two years, and new fees will be implemented for re-inspections and re-reviews of development plans.

Click here to read more.

Carried Interest, QIP Bills Introduced in Congress

Posted on April 1, 2019

Lawmakers return to Washington, D.C., this week after spending time in their districts. Several measures have been introduced that are important to NAIOP and commercial real estate. The Carried Interest Fairness Act of 2019, introduced in the House by Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and in the Senate by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), aims to treat certain income currently taxed at the capital gains rate as ordinary income. This would be a major change, since the top capital gains rate is 20 percent and the highest rate on ordinary income is 37 percent.

Less than two years ago, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), a law that NAIOP strongly supported. Lawmakers recognized that taxing carried interests at a lower rate than ordinary income provides the necessary incentive for entrepreneurs to undertake risks inherent in development. The provision was therefore kept in place in the new tax law, though a new three-year holding period was imposed. The three-year holding period was intended to ensure that “carried interests” were used primarily for longer-term capital assets.

NAIOP has opposed changes to the taxation of real estate carried interests, and is working with its real estate allies to educate lawmakers in both the House and Senate on the changes already made to carried interest taxation.

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House Lawmakers Prepare to Discuss Infrastructure

Posted on March 22, 2019

The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday to discuss what the committee calls: “Our Nation’s Crumbling Infrastructure and the Need for Immediate Action.” The committee handles federal spending matters and is chaired by Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA).

The availability of modern and efficient infrastructure systems is a major factor in real estate development and investment decisions. The success of commercial real estate projects is largely dependent on access to quality roads, ports, rail and other infrastructure systems. Improving the nation’s infrastructure is one of NAIOP’s 2019 legislative priorities, and building the infrastructure the country needs will require federal investment.

In last month’s State of the Union Address, President Donald Trump said that infrastructure is an area that may be ripe for bipartisan cooperation. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) announced that he also hopes the parties can work together. “We face a $1 trillion surface transportation investment gap over the next 10 years to fix the infrastructure we have, meet future needs, and restore our global competitiveness,” he said in a news release. “Any serious infrastructure proposal must provide sustainable, long-term federal funding so we can make these necessary investments, create millions of living-wage American jobs, increase economic growth, and decrease congestion and emissions.”

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Charlotte Planners Release Revised TOD Ordinance, Set Public Hearing for March 18th

Posted on February 26, 2019

The Charlotte Planning Department late last week released a revised draft of its proposed Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Ordinance, ahead of a March 18th public hearing.

REBIC is in the process of reviewing the ordinance, which is available for download HERE. We strongly encourage any developers considering projects in the City's transit corridors to look through the draft and provide us with any feedback you may have.

Some of the changes in the new draft include:

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Tentative Agreement on Federal Spending Deal

Posted on February 19, 2019

With a Friday deadline looming, lawmakers in Congress say they have reached a deal on a spending bill that would keep the government open for the rest of the fiscal year. Without an agreement, funding for about a quarter of the federal government would run out on Feb. 15.

The spending agreement would reportedly include some $1.3 billion for barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border. That’s far less than the $5.7 billion that President Donald Trump had been demanding.

During NAIOP’s annual Chapter Leadership and Legislative Retreat in Washington, D.C., last week, keynote speaker Bret Baier of Fox News suggested a compromise. Baier said Trump probably will not get a physical “wall” on the border, but could get increased funding for border security. He predicted that might be enough for Trump to declare a win on the issue.

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Charlotte NAIOP Members Advocate for Commercial Real Estate Issues on Capitol Hill

Posted on February 14, 2019

Members of the Charlotte Chapter of NAIOP traveled to Washington, D.C., last week to meet with members of Congress about issues critical to North Carolina’s commercial real estate industry. The Capitol Hill visits were part of NAIOP’s annual Chapter Leadership and Legislative Retreat, and gave Charlotte developers a chance to advocate on a range of topics, including:

  • Establishing a reasonable cost recovery period for qualified leasehold improvements;
  • Advocating for increased federal investment in our national infrastructure, including roads, ports and bridges; and,
  • Encouraging Congress to incentivize energy-efficient construction without imposing new mandates.

NAIOP Legislative Affairs Chair Jason Moore (Rodgers Builders, center) meets with Congressman Richard Hudson on Capitol Hill

During the course of the day, NAIOP members met with Senator Thom Tillis and congressmen Richard Hudson and Patrick McHenryThanks to those NAIOP members who took time out of their busy schedules to advocate for commercial real estate priorities on Capitol Hill!

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