NCLM Southern City, Volume 72, Issue 3, 2022

SOUTHERN CITY QUARTER 3 2022 10 funding is recurring. Also, the budget begins a transfer of state sales tax revenue, which had flowed to its general operating budget, to its road construction and maintenance, with the transfer to grow to 6 percent of general sales tax revenue by the 2024–25 budget year. Outside of budget and funding considerations, the legislative session did include consideration of a handful of local bills looking to restrict voluntary annexation, end extra-territorial jurisdiction or otherwise compromise local land-use planning. Ultimately, bills affecting Leland and Brunswick County and Lexington were approved, though local officials did have some input on final legislation. NCLM advocacy staff worked with local officials regarding these pieces of legislation, but also has begun to look at any broader implications and how the League can share with policymakers and the public the importance of local land-use planning when it comes to orderly growth and the provision of needed utilities to serve that growth. In a similar vein, more legislation was approved that focused on the financial continued from page 9 struggles of cities and towns, and their financial transparency. SB 265 Bond Info Transparency/LGC Toolkit II will lower the borrowing threshold for cities and towns on the Local Government Commission’s Unit Assistance List to set the amount at $50,000 when LGC approval is required. It would also increase bond requirements for some municipal finance officers. Following concerns expressed by NCLM and the NC Association of County Commissioners, a bill provision was dropped that would have penalized local governments that were late with audit reports by holding back sales taxes equal to 150 percent of the cost of the audit. A Less Than Dramatic Legislative Session Finally, the City of Greenville was added to the list of cities that can hire civilian traffic investigators to investigate traffic accidents to better utilize police resources. The issue garnered significant interest in the General Assembly, with some initial pushback eventually replaced by wide support as long as those investigators’ powers were limited. The interest created by local bills may set the stage for statewide legislation in the future. Relative to most recent sessions, state lawmakers focused most of their attention on issues not of immediate relevance to municipal governance. And even for issues that garnered all that attention, most were unable to get over the finish line to becoming law.