2016 Legislative Session Is Productive For NCHBA

All labor pursuant to a “real property contract” (which is between a real property contractor and another person to perform construction, reconstruction, or remodeling with respect to a capital improvement) is now exempt from taxation. A “capital improvement” is defined as “an alteration to real property that is new construction, reconstruction, or remodeling of a building, structure, or fixture on land that becomes part of the real property or is permanently installed in the real property”.

Among the specific examples of a “capital improvement” is “performance of work that requires the issuance of a permit under the State Building Code” (a residential project that costs at least $15,000). Other examples include painting, wallpapering and landscape services. Specifically excluded from taxation are services performed to resolve an issue that was part of a real property contract within twelve months of the new structure being occupied for the first time (warranty call-backs). Home inspections, debris removal, pest control and fees for inspections required by law are also specifically exempt. Those subcontractors who operate as a “retailer-contractor” (i. e., provide subcontractor services to builders and others) are also exempt when the entity acts as a real property contractor. STATUS: ENACTED

(Session Law 2016-94; these provisions are effective 01/01/17). SAVINGS TO MEMBERS: Millions of dollars in avoided sales taxes
on installation services in both new construction and remodeling. KEY LEGISLATORS: Rep. John Szoka (R-Cumberland); Rep. Jason

Saine (R-Lincoln); Rep. Bill Brawley (R-Mecklenburg); Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett); Rep. Nelson Dollar (R-Wake); Sen. Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg); Sen. Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick); Sen. Jerry Tillman (R-Randolph); Sen. Harry Brown (R-Onslow).

Appropriation Approved to Put NC Building Code Online

While the NC Building Codes are currently available online via the Department of Insurance’s website, the text is “read only” and is not “searchable”. The final budget conference report for HB 1030 included an appropriation of $425,000 to the NC Department of Insurance to make the Building Code Registry fully online and searchable. Thus, our members and the public will be able to access the family of NC building codes online without having to purchase the hard copy books. Now that the funding has been approved, the next step is to negotiate with the International Code Council to make this a reality. NCHBA intends to participate in these discussions. STATUS: ENACTED

(Session Law 2016-94; this provision is effective 07/01/16). SAVINGS TO MEMBERS: Thousands of dollars by free online access rather than purchase of code books. KEY LEGISLATORS: Rep. Mark Brody
(R-Union); Rep. Nelson Dollar (R-Wake).
Vesting Protection For Multi-Phase Developments

HB 483 (Land-Use Regulatory Changes) another of NCHBA’s key bills, was passed on the last day of the session and was sent to the Governor. Although the bill was significantly pared back from versions which passed two Senate committees, it contained an important provision that vests all phases of a multi-phase development at time of application for the initial phase. While this language is limited to large projects, it does provide vesting protection to those projects for seven years. Despite your legislative team’s best efforts, provisions that would allow access to Superior Court rather than the Board of Adjustment for certain claims; alter the standard for the award of mandatory attorneys’ fees when local governments fail to follow state law; and make refinements to the performance guarantee reform legislation passed last year were not included in the version of the bill enacted. These issues will become top 2017 Session priorities. STATUS: ENACTED (Session Law 2016-111; this provision is

effective 07/22/16). SAVINGS TO MEMBERS: Millions in avoided
costs by preventing downzonings of future residential development phases. KEY LEGISLATORS: Rep. Jonathan Jordan (R-Ashe); Sen.

Rick Gunn (R-Alamance); Sen. Wesley Meredith (R-Cumberland).

No Building Permit For Minor Repairs

This provision, which was inserted into SB 770 (North Carolina Farm Act of 2016) at the request of NCHBA to clarify existing law, excludes certain minor repairs in residential and farm structures from any requirement to obtain a building permit. Specifically excluded is the replacement of windows, doors, exterior siding, or the pickets, railings, stair treads and decking of porches and exterior decks. With respect to plumbing, no permit is required for replacements that do not change size or capacity. STATUS: ENACTED (Session

Law 2016-113; this provision is effective 10/01/16). SAVINGS TO MEMBERS: Thousands of dollars in unnecessary permit fees. KEY LEGISLATORS: Sen. Brent Jackson (R-Sampson); Rep. Jimmy
Dixon (R-Duplin).
Significant Appropriations To The NC Housing Finance Agency

NCHBA was a key supporter of the original legislation in 1973 which created the NC Housing Finance Agency, a self-supporting public agency, with a mission to finance housing opportunities for our state’s citizens who are otherwise not adequately served by the market. Support for its programs is an annual NCHBA priority. We are pleased to report that the final conference report of HB 1030 added an additional $5 million to the previous appropriation of $15 million to the Workforce Housing Loan Program as well as $7.66 million for the state’s Housing Trust Fund and $3 million for the HOME program. STATUS: ENACTED (Session Law 2016-94; these provisions

(More LEGISLATIVE SESSION on page 12)