Budget Deal Reached

On September 20, 2015

nc state budgetAfter months of work by the members of the General Assembly, a budget deal was reached Monday to resolve the differences between both Chambers’ versions. The more than $21.7 billion budget is contained in over 500 pages, which legislators have been working to review throughout the week. The Senate held votes on Tuesday and Wednesday where support fell mostly along party lines. The House conducted their votes yesterday and early this morning.

Thanks to the efforts of NCAR leadership, Government Affairs staff and REALTORS® across North Carolina, this budget supports many REALTOR® priorities.  Below is a list of positive budget provisions.

  • No change to the current Mortgage Interest and Property Tax deductions.
  • Restoration of both the residential and income producing historic tax credits.  The program’s sunset is now 2020.
  • The Workforce Housing Loan Program receives $12.5 million in funding in 2015-6 and $15 million in 2016-7.
  • For this fiscal year (FY15-16), the budget provides $1M in recurring funding for the Economic Development Partnership NC tourism promotion over the current funding level.  In the next fiscal year (FY16-17), there is an additional $2M recurring funding for tourism promotion over the current funding level.
  • Beginning in 2017, the Personal Income Tax rate will decrease to 5.499 percent.
  • Multiple grants and fund programs also receive funding including:
    • $3 million for the OneNC Small Business Fund;
    • $2.5 million for Rural Economic Development Grants; and
    • $30 million for the Film grant program.
  • Job Development and Infrastructure Grants (JDIG) received over $63 million in funding.
  • The Housing Trust Fund retains its annual funding allocation of approximately $10 million.
  • No change to the tax distribution equation for counties.

We are extremely appreciative of the work of the House and Senate leadership who have supported these provisions.

Next week we will be launching a call for action asking you to reach out to your Representative and Senator to thank them for supporting the budget.  Watch your inbox and please take action to show those who supported us that we are appreciative of their work.

While this budget was great for our industry, one issue did not receive as favorable an outcome. The Non-commercial underground storage tank fund was eliminated. The backlog of claims identified and in the system with DENR through October 1 of this year will be paid.  After that, the fund will no longer be available to help NC citizens. The standard under which tank removal and remediation will be changed.

NCAR believes this fund was vital to the protection of North Carolina’s environment and its property owners. The fund was established to reimburse property owners for costs incurred during the cleanup of soil and groundwater contamination resulting from the release of petroleum from an underground storage tank. While no hard data exists on the precise number of noncommercial underground storage tanks in North Carolina, a reasonable estimate is approximately 200,000.

NCAR is concerned that the elimination of this fund will have a disastrous impact real estate market, with profound negative effects on the marketability and insurability of properties where a release has occurred. We are also concerned about financing and title issues which could halt sales.

The Government Affairs staff is working with members of the NCGA to find ways to lessen any negative impacts this change will have on the market.  We are also setting up an online portal for you to share your clients’ stories.

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