This legislation was filed this week but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing. Please review the legislation and contact your House member(s) with any concerns.
- House Bill 119 — Property Tax Relief for COVID Affected Businesses: Makes the following changes related to local governments collecting property taxes from businesses impacted by COVID-19:
- Mandates a qualifying owner of property be granted a deferment on enforced collections from property tax liability for the time period running from March 2020 through December 2020.
- Allows qualifying property owners to enter into a payment plan for the property taxes owed on the affected property.
- Directs the assessor of property to recognize the effect of COVID-19 relief efforts for purposes of determining the value of property resulting from a change in the legally permitted use of the property.
- Authorizes, but does not require, assessors to modify the appraised value of real property to recognize a change in value proportionate to the time during the year that resulted from economic changes affecting the county in general due to the pandemic and make appropriate modifications where the COVID-19 pandemic caused (i) a reduction of at least twenty-five percent (25%) in gross revenues, (ii) for retail businesses that collect and remit sales tax, a reduction of at least twenty-five percent (25%) in sales tax collections, or (iii) both.
NCACC asks counties to review the bill and submit any comments or suggested changes to firstname.lastname@example.org and/or reach out to your Senator(s) if you have concerns.
- Senate Bill 31 — Political Subdivisions/Local Bidders Notice: Requires counties to, in addition to newspaper advertisement, notify interested people or businesses by regular or electronic mail of work over $50,000 being let to bid. The bill passed the Senate State and Local Government Committee this week and is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Rules Committee before being considered by the full Senate as early as Monday evening.
Bills of Note
- Two local bills, House Bill 35 and House Bill 51, allowing counties specified in the legislation to post public notices on the county website rather than newspapers passed the House Judiciary 4 Committee this week. NCACC Government Relations Director Amber Harris appeared before the committee to discuss the legislation. Both bills align with NCACC’s legislative goal to seek legislation allowing public bodies to provide meeting notices by electronic means in addition to allowing notice through a newspaper with general circulation within the county. The bills are next scheduled to be heard on Tuesday, February 23, in the House Local Government Committee.
- Senate Bill 37 — In-Person Learning Choice For Families: Requires school districts to offer in-person instruction to students in grades K-12 for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. The bill also encourages, but does not require, school districts to coordinate with local health departments and vaccine providers to facilitate scheduling COVID-19 vaccination events for frontline K-12 school-based employees. The House and Senate approved a final version of the bill this week and it now goes to the Governor for his consideration.
- House Bill 82 — Summer Learning Loss for NC Families: Directs local school districts to offer a six-week summer school program to at-risk K-12 students to address learning loss during the COVID-19 pandemic. Non at-risk students may participate in the program if space is available. School districts may use federal coronavirus relief funding to pay for the program. The bill was heard for discussion only in the House K-12 Committee and could be voted on in the House as early as next week.
- Senate Bill 100 — Police Funding Protection Act: Reduces state funding to local governments that reduce appropriations to their law enforcement by more than 1%. The legislation also contains provisions requiring a report on law enforcement standards for equipment and training to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice and Public Safety. NCACC opposes this legislation as it erodes local control and authority — as stated by NCACC Executive Kevin Leonard to WRAL. The bill was filed this week, but has not yet been scheduled for a committee hearing.
- Click HERE to read an article featuring Forsyth County Commissioner Whisenhunt and County Manager Dudley Watts on the issue.
- Senate Bill 101 — Require Cooperation with ICE 2.0: Requires administrators of local confinement facilities to determine the immigration status of any person charged with a felony or impaired driving offense, and if unable to determine the individual's status, the administrator must make a query to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Additionally, the legislation requires administrators at facilities to comply with ICE detainers by holding the person charged for 48 hours. If the administrator fails to do so they may be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill was filed this week, but has not yet been scheduled for a committee hearing.
- House Bill 62 — Gov. Immigration Compliance/Enjoin Ordinances: Declares any “sanctuary ordinance” adopted by a local government to be null and void and allows any person to bring action against the local government suspected of violations. Any person bringing such an action is not required to “prove special damage different from that suffered from the public at large.” NCACC opposes this legislation as the bill sets up a process exposing local governments to frivolous lawsuits. The bill has been scheduled for its first hearing in the House Judiciary 1 Committee next week.
Executive Orders and Other Actions
- Governor Cooper declared a state of emergency this Thursday due to the winter storm and associated power loss. The declaration authorizes certain regulatory activities and application for federal assistance.
- The state announced the recipients of $27 million in federal CDBG-CV grant funding, which will go to 34 municipal and county governments to assist with utility, rental, and business assistance in those communities.
- NC Department of Health and Human Services indicated there are vaccine shipment delays due to severe weather.
- NC Department of Health and Human Services extended the deadline for providers interested in obtaining certification as a Tailored Care Management Advanced Medical Home Plus (AMH+) practice or Care Management Agency. The new deadline is June 1, 2021. Click HERE for more information.
NCACC Board of Directors Welcomes New Members
This week, the NCACC Board of Directors welcomed two new members, Nimasheena Burns, Durham County Commissioner and Skip Alston, Guilford County Commissioner, who will serve on the Board as District Directors. Click HERE
to read the press release.
Interested in Hosting a County Management Fellow?
The NCACC and International City-County Management Association (ICMA) are seeking to add host counties for the NCACC-ICMA County Management Fellowship Program, which places recent MPA (Master of Public Administration or Affairs) or MPP (Policy) graduates who are interested in a local government management career into one- to two-year fellowships designed to provide real project experience and fast career growth in a supportive environment. County managers interested in the program should contact Jason King at email@example.com
or visit HERE
for more information.
NACo Hosts Virtual Opioid Litigation Forum
During a National Association of Counties (NACo) forum
convened to discuss the latest developments and county activities in the national multidistrict opioid settlement process, NCACC Executive Director Kevin Leonard participated on a panel to share the work of the Opioid Settlement Workgroup in North Carolina and ongoing collaboration with the NC Department of Justice.
Mark Your Calendars
Virtual Ethics Training
February 26 or March 23, 2021
Incumbent commissioners may register for virtual ethics training on February 26 or March 23 with newly elected county commissioners attending Essentials of County Government. Click HERE
for more information and to register.
'Top 10' Primer Series
Sponsored by NCACC and offered at no charge!
This series of short webinars provides essential tips, tools and definitions to help local elected leaders take on their responsibilities. Each webinar introduces a specific topic or tool and explores the "top 10" things that elected leaders need to know.
A Conversation with Filmmaker Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Now through February 26
The UNC College of Arts and Sciences sponsored a conversation on Tuesday with Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar and cultural critic Henry Louis Gates Jr. Part of the Frey Foundation Distinguished Visiting Professor lecture series, this recorded conversation is available for online viewing through February 26 HERE
Local Elected Leaders Academy ("LELA") Programs
NOTE: When registering for LELA programming, use the code NCACC-SOG-2019-20 to receive the 20 percent county commissioner discount.
- February 26 — Evaluating Manager and Board Performance
- Participants who complete this program will learn how to develop a successful board self-assessment and manager evaluation process, customize an evaluation process that works for their jurisdiction, and how to avoid common pitfalls.
- March 24 — When Differences of Opinion Escalate: Conflict Resolution Skills for Local Elected Officials
- In this workshop, you will strengthen your ability to effectively manage conflict in a variety of settings by identifying when differences of opinion are about to escalate; adding tools that help in deescalating conflicts; and practicing five methods for conflict resolution. This highly interactive video workshop will help you develop the leadership skills that allow you to express principled differences in a civil way.
- April 21 — Legal Competency for Local Elected Officials
- This course is designed to enhance the basic materials covered in the Essentials courses, and will give you a deeper understanding of your legal responsibilities. Subjects addressed will include: the legal authority of the local unit; rules of procedure; roles and responsibilities of individual board members; transparency requirements; and conflicts of interest.
Click here to view NCACC's calendar of events