Filtered by category: Legislative Clear Filter

Opening Salvo in Phase IV Negotiations Passes House of Representatives

Last Friday, the House of Representatives passed by a vote of 208-199 a Democratic-backed coronavirus economic recovery bill, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. House Democratic leadership drafted the legislation without Republican input and unveiled it earlier in the week, leading Republican leadership to dismiss it as a partisan exercise.

While the HEROES Act will not be taken up by the Senate, the bill serves as an important opening salvo by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as negotiations continue between the House, Senate and the Trump administration on a “Phase IV” economic stimulus bill.

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Lawmakers Work to Get Economic Aid Flowing

The federal government is scrambling to deliver economic help to the American economy under difficult circumstances. A key step is getting the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) up and running. SBA posted its interim final rule to govern the program last Thursday. There have been some glitches, but the SBA began granting loans last Friday, and banks are continuing to work this week to process additional loan applications. Information on the SBA’s loan programs and application information is located here.

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Mecklenburg County Amends Stay at Home Order

Today Mecklenburg County issued guidance, in conjunction with the Canopy Realtor® Association and Canopy MLS. 
Please read this information closely to ensure you are staying safe while maintaining business as needed.
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Congress, States Struggle to Deal with Coronavirus

Senate lawmakers cancelled a planned recess and will instead remain at work in Washington, D.C., this week, where they will take up a bill passed by the House of Representatives last week that seeks to provide immediate economic relief from the effects of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. 

The House voted overwhelmingly, 363-40, to approve the measure, for which President Donald Trump had signaled support. The Wall Street Journal reported: “The new measure would still provide two weeks of sick leave to a wide swath of workers affected by the pandemic, including those who are in quarantine, caring for family members with Covid-19, and those who have children whose schools or day-care centers have closed.” The bill would also make free testing for the coronavirus available.

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Congress, States Struggle to Deal with Coronavirus

Originally published on March 17, 2020. 

Senate lawmakers cancelled a planned recess and will instead remain at work in Washington, D.C., this week, where they will take up a bill passed by the House of Representatives last week that seeks to provide immediate economic relief from the effects of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. 

The House voted overwhelmingly, 363-40, to approve the measure, for which President Donald Trump had signaled support. The Wall Street Journal reported: “The new measure would still provide two weeks of sick leave to a wide swath of workers affected by the pandemic, including those who are in quarantine, caring for family members with Covid-19, and those who have children whose schools or day-care centers have closed.” The bill would also make free testing for the coronavirus available.

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Stormwater Pollution Control Ordinance Changes Proposed by City of Charlotte

The City of Charlotte is considering several changes to the Stormwater Pollution Control Ordinance (SWPCO). They include the following:

  • Makes “Improper Storage, Handling, and Processing of Materials” a new and separate enforceable violation in cases where this can cause stormwater pollution; 
  • Makes “Failure to Comply” with requirements and directives set forth by the Director in an enforcement remedy a new and separate enforceable violation;
  • Makes “Violation of Non-Municipal NPDES Discharge Permit Limitation(s)” a new and separate enforceable violation in cases where a permittee’s discharge violates a permitted numeric discharge effluent limitation;
  • Makes the use, distribution, and sale of “Coal Tar” and “High PAH” pavement sealants a new and separate enforceable violation;
  • Increases the maximum potential civil penalty for each violation from $5,000 to $10,000;
  • Authorizes the City to place a lien on real or personal property owned by a violator for unpaid civil penalties, administrative costs, and/or abatement costs associated with an enforcement remedy.
  • Formally authorizes the Director of the department over the City’s NPDES MS4 stormwater permit to administer the SWPCO and defines responsibilities, delegates authority, and requires the development of administrative policies and procedures; and
  • Makes several minor wording changes to better define the meaning of terms and phrases
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Trump Administration Finalizes WOTUS Rule

Posted on January 28, 2020

Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army released the final version of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule. This regulation defines the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) for purposes of determining the application of the federal Clean Water Act.

 NAIOP has strongly supported WOTUS reform that would provide greater clarity on the application of federal jurisdiction over domestic water bodies, and which would increase the predictability and consistency of government environmental permitting decisions.  NAIOP provided a comment letter to the EPA in 2019 with suggested revisions to the existing rule.

For developers and property owners, perhaps the most notable change concerns jurisdiction over ephemeral streams, which only flow intermittently, typically after rainfall. Regulation of these dry channels has been a contentious issue for years. This is especially true in more arid Western states, where they can account for the vast majority of streams, and may not see any water flow for long periods of time.

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NAIOP Statement on Final WOTUS Rule

Posted on January 23, 2020.

Today, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers announced a final Waters of the United States rule. 

Thomas J. Bisacquino, president and CEO of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, issued the following statement upon the announcement of the regulation:

"For years, the lack of a clear definition regarding the scope of federal regulation of our nation's waters has been a costly source of confusion, delays and compliance challenges for the commercial real estate industry. The Navigable Waters Protection Rule is a critical step forward and represents a reasonable approach to federal oversight that balances environmental protection with economic realities. NAIOP appreciates and commends the work of EPA and Army Corps of Engineers for addressing many of these concerns, and for developing a rule that implements commonsense streamlining measures, as well as appropriate jurisdictional definitions, among other changes."

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Washington Policymakers Turn to 2020

Posted on January 29, 2020

Lawmakers return to Washington with a possible presidential impeachment trial in the Senate on their minds. But as that process plays out, policymakers are discussing other issues that are important to commercial real estate.

Just before Christmas, officials at the Treasury Department released the final round of regulations governing opportunity zones, the economic development tool designed to spur job creation and economic development in distressed or developing communities. Opportunity zones were created as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that NAIOP supported.

The final rules address questions such as:

  • What types of gains may be invested and when?
  • When may gains be excluded from tax after an investment is held for a 10-year period?
  • How can large C Corporations invest in opportunity zones?
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Charlotte Land Development Standards Manual (CLDSM) Update

Posted on January 14, 2020

The Charlotte Land Development Standards Committee has determined that various details in the CLDSM need to be revised or added as Revision No. 19 of the CLDSM. DRAFT updated details are available on the CLDSM website at https://charlottenc.gov/cldsm in a PDF marked up with revision clouds and revision notes. The projected effective date for the updated details and Revision No. 19 of the CLDSM will be January 27th, 2020. Please review the DRAFT details and provide any feedback or comments to Brendan Smith at [email protected] by January 15th, 2020.

Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Clears Key House Committee

Posted on November 18, 2019

Last week, the House Committee on Financial Services unanimously (57-0) passed a bipartisan bill that would extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program (TRIA) for seven years. The reauthorization of TRIA the can now move to the floor of the full House of Representatives.

The bill, H.R. 4634, would also require a study on the cyberterrorism market and expand an ongoing study to determine the availability and affordability of TRIA coverage for places of worship. In the Senate, Republican Thom Tillis of North Carolina is reportedly working to introduce a reauthorization bill as well. The current bill expires next year.

In order to guarantee that insurance coverage would be available for the commercial real estate industry, Congress first passed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002. It created a federal reinsurance backstop program for terrorism insurance, and mandated that insurers make terrorism coverage available along with their property and casualty lines of insurance. Congress has already extended TRIA three times.

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Webinar Nov. 19: Legislative and Political Update

Posted on November 12, 2019

The Advantage Series is an exclusive member benefit, delivering expert insights into the latest research to help you make informed business decisions.

This webinar will provide members with an update on federal legislative activity and executive agency actions affecting the commercial real estate industry, with a specific focus on NAIOP’s top public policy and legislative priorities.  Aquiles Suarez, NAIOP’s vice president for government affairs, and Alex Ford, NAIOP director of federal affairs, will discuss issues including tax legislation, infrastructure, environmental issues and federal regulatory matters.  Attendees can pose questions regarding federal issues affecting their business and gain insights to prepare them for any future regulatory or legislative challenges.

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Tree Ordinance Text Amendment Passes

Posted on October 22, 2019

Last night (10/21) Charlotte City Council voted to approve updates to the sign and tree ordinances. NAIOP Charlotte supported the proposed text amendments to the Tree Ordinance below:

On behalf of the hundreds of commercial real estate developers and industry service providers represented by NAIOP Charlotte, we request your support of the proposed amendment to the City’s Tree Ordinance Amendment at the City Council business meeting on Monday, October 21st.

Petition #2019‐104 seeks to codify flexibility, better integrate trees into urban sites, and will result in no net loss of ordinance required trees. It incentivizes urban development and redevelopment to plant trees on site, compared with the current practice of payment in lieu which pushes our canopy out of urban areas where benefits from sustainable practices can be leveraged. It places trees in areas where people want to congregate, socialize, and enjoy open space. Current requirements are restrictive of where trees can be located. 

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REBIC Primary Election Voter Guide is Now Available

Real Estate Industry Legislative Priorities Continue to Advance in Raleigh

Posted on August 13, 2019

Despite the ongoing stalemate over the state budget, legislation supported by the real estate and home building industry continues to make progress in Raleigh. Over the past few weeks, Governor Cooper has signed into law a variety of bills supported by the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA), the North Carolina Realtors®, NAIOP North Carolina, and other trade groups. Here’s a summary of some of the key laws that will benefit the residential and commercial real estate industries in the years ahead:

  • HB 675 — 2019 Building Code Regulatory Reform, sponsored by Representatives Mark Brody (R-Union), Dennis Riddell (R-Alamance), Jon Hardister (R-Guilford), and Billy Richardson (D-Cumberland). This is the fifth successful bill over the past several sessions of major reforms to the state building code and inspections process Key provisions in this year’s act include:
    • Prohibits local governments from requiring developers/builders to bury existing power lines or bury relocated power lines that are located outside the subdivision.
    • Prohibits local governments from setting minimum square footage requirements for residential structures.
    • Requires the North Carolina Building Code Council to conduct a cost/benefit analysis for all proposed changes to the North Carolina Energy Conservation Code since January 1, 2018.
    • Requires the North Carolina Building Code Council to create an inspection form to be used by engineers and architects and clarifies that they can inspect foundations and underslabs.
    • Adds a new level of inspector, residential changeout inspector, to assist with minor inspections.
    • Requires that a local government chooses to have plan review that the initial review for residential building plans must be performed within fifteen (15) business days after submission.
    • Requires that a local government can issue a temporary certificate of occupancy if the requirements of the NC Building Code are met.
  • HB 492 — Simplify Builder Inventory Exclusion, sponsored by Representatives Mark Brody (R-Union), Julia Howard (R-Davie), and Brian Turner (D-Buncombe), will eliminate the need for a builder to file annually in order to take advantage of an important property tax exclusion.The new law permits a builder to file a one-time application to claim an exemption from higher property taxes on land and houses held for sale by a builder to the extent that the tax increase is attributable to subdivision of the property or improvements made such as the installation of infrastructure or the construction of a single-family or duplex house on the property.
  • HB 620 — Street Database/Manual/Public Record Exemption, requires the North Carolina Department of Transportation to create a “Public Street Information Database”, by 01/10/20 and update it regularly, for the purpose of conveying the status of roads within the State. This publicly-available database will indicate whether the road is (1) federally owned, (2) State-owned with State road number assigned, or (3) State-maintained with a State road number assigned.
  • SB 355 — Land-Use Regulatory Changes, sponsored by Senators Dan Bishop (R-Mecklenburg), Paul Newton (R-Cabarrus) and Sam Searcy (D-Wake), helps level the playing field between landowners and local governments by integrating permit choice and vesting laws to ensure that the rules are not changed in the middle of a development project. In addition, the law:
    • Protects landowners against 3rd party rezoning efforts
    • Allows certain claims to bypass the Board of Adjustment and proceed to Superior Court.
    • Places limits on conditional zoning abuse, while preserving flexibility for developers.
  • SB 523 — Revenue Laws Clarifying & Administrative Changes, requires Property Management companies to charge and remit RMI sales tax only in the following circumstances:
    1. They provide repair, maintenance, installation services for an additional charge above what is stated in the management contract.
    2. They arrange for a third party to provide the repair, maintenance, and installation services and impose an additional charge for arranging these services.
    3. More than twenty-five percent (25%) of the time spent managing an individual real property during a billing or invoice period is attributable to taxable repair, maintenance, and installation services. The property manager can voluntarily provide a written affidavit to attest that no more than 25% of their services on a given property constitute taxable RMI services, which would clear them of liability for taxation on any portion of the contract amount.

Source: NCHBA & NC Realtors®

Governor Cooper Signs Law Clarifying Taxation of Property Management Contracts

Posted on July 30, 2019

Governor Roy Cooper last week signed into law a bill supported by REBIC, the North Carolina Association of Realtors® (NCR), NAIOP Charlotte, BOMA Greater Charlotte, and other industry trade groups, clarifying that residential and commercial Property Management agreements are largely not subject to the state’s Repair, Maintenance & Installation (RMI) sales tax.

SB 523 — Revenue Laws Clarifying & Administrative Changes, passed the General Assembly earlier this month with an amendment that requires Property Management companies to charge and remit RMI sales tax only in the following circumstances:

  1. They provide repair, maintenance, installation services for an additional charge above what is stated in the management contract.
  2. They arrange for a third party to provide the repair, maintenance, and installation services and impose an additional charge for arranging these services.
  3. More than twenty-five percent (25%) of the time spent managing an individual real property during a billing or invoice period is attributable to taxable repair, maintenance, and installation services. The property manager can voluntarily provide a written affidavit to attest that no more than 25% of their services on a given property constitute taxable RMI services, which would clear them of liability for taxation on any portion of the contract amount.

The legislation also provides specific exclusions to RMI services, which help ensure much of the work done by property management companies is not subject to taxation. They are:

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Debt Ceiling Talks Continue as Senators Reintroduce Energy Bill

Posted on July 25, 2019

Republican Rob Portman of Ohio and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire reintroduced a bipartisan bill in the Senate last week. S.2137 aims to improve energy efficiency in buildings, industrial facilities, and throughout the federal government.

NAIOP supports legislation that ensures that energy-efficiency building codes are developed subject to the federal rule-making process.

“This bill is a win-win, creating nearly 200,000 new jobs and protecting our environment—all without a single new tax or mandate,” Senator Portman said. Senator Shaheen added: “Our bipartisan legislation would create jobs in the private sector, save families and businesses money, and drastically reduce pollution in a smart, effective and affordable way.”

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Lawmakers Address Infrastructure and the Debt Ceiling as Recess Approaches

Posted on July 19, 2019

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing last week on the need for a multiyear reauthorization of highway transportation infrastructure programs. Expanded infrastructure investment, for surface transportation and for broader infrastructure needs, is one of NAIOP’s 2019 legislative priority issues.

While the issue is often described as an area where bipartisan cooperation is possible, Congress is divided on how to pay for any new programs, and the Trump administration has not submitted a detailed legislative proposal to Congress. 

The Senate committee hearing is a first step in moving legislation reauthorizing highway programs. “It is our shared goal to advance a bill out of committee this summer,” Republican committee chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) said. “In our legislation, we must reduce the time it takes for federal permitting, we need to lower paperwork burdens on states, and we need to incorporate innovative construction approaches and other technologies.”

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City of Charlotte Progresses in Enhancing Development Services

Posted on July 17, 2019

On July 8, Charlotte City Council voted to approve construction of the first floor of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center for a collaborative, multidepartmental development permitting facility.

Known as the CLT Development Center, the space will provide developers and design teams access to city review staff in a single location for city development permitting services. This initiative brings together staff from all departments involved in permitting to create a more collaborative culture with new services to better meet customer needs.

“The CLT Development Center is the product of our efforts to have collaborative partnerships with the development community,” said City Manager Marcus D. Jones. “We are excited to bring new, innovative ways to work together to create great projects for Charlotte.”

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REBIC Successfully Advocates for Noise Ordinance Fixes for Construction Sites

Posted June 27, 2019

Charlotte City Council voted Monday night on controversial amendments to the Noise Ordinance, but REBIC and our partner associations have successfully advocated for the removal of a highly problematic provision that impacted home builders, developers and general contractors.

Among its many provisions, the amendments under consideration on Monday would allow the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) to designate specific construction sites as ‘chronic noise producers’ and require the creation of a formal plan to mitigate noise impacts on surrounding neighborhoods. This designation is already used (though very sparingly) to address issues that arise with other businesses, like bars and nightclubs.

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