Counties, Towns and Cities Still In The Cross Hairs

On Wednesday the Senate rolled out a new PCS for HB 1224 - Economic Development Changes that added what lobbyists for local government groups were expecting to be additional authority over local taxes but was instead a limitation of those powers.

North Carolina operates an economic development funding program called JMAC operated by the Department of Commerce. The fund provides grants to certain approved companies who meet job creation thresholds. The grants have time limits and limits on funding amounts. The bill allows companies in Tier 2 counties (poor) to join Tier 1 counties (poorest) to be eligible. The bill also limits the number of JMAC grants to five whose total cost cannot exceed $79 million (up from $69 million). **My experience as a legislative staffer was that the JMAC program was amended only when it needed to fit with an economic development opportunity. Further specifications that indicate a grant recipient is in mind: if a large manufacturer is investing in its manufacturing process  - transitioning from coal to natural gas - with additional pollution controls it may be eligible. The bill also grows JMAC by establishing that the Department of Commerce cannot enter into more than five agreements/grants, with total aggregate cost not to exceed $79 million (was, $69 million).

Wednesday's new section which surprised local government groups was a provision allowing counties to increase local sales tax in increments of 1/4 %, by referendum to fund education OR local transportation projects, but not both at the same time. The total local sales tax in a jurisdiction must not exceed 2.5%, and the funds cannot be shared with municipalities. This provision proved to be very controversial and the bill was returned to committee for further consideration.

View HB 1224 here:


Written by:

Published In:


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.