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House | May 7, 2015 | Committee Room | Local Government

Full MP3 Audio File

We're going to call this meeting to order. The Local Government would like to introduce our pages today, Sophie Kethrun, Coddy More, Isaiah Person and Julius Sathan. Thank you. Our Sergeant at Arms, Young Bay, Bill Morris and Jim Murren. Thank you. Our first Bill up to day is House Bill 493, Representative Hager. Thank you chairman. And without objection, the PCS is before us. Thank you Committee, thank you Mr. Chairman. This bill is pretty easy, we've got a piece of land that wants to be extended in Lake Lure in my district it is a split issue with County Committee and with the City Council excuse 22 the Mayor had to break the tie, so we want to have this DNA session go to a referendum of the people of Lake Lure representative Wand. For question in motion proper time. Question for the bill sponsor, is there any objection to need a party on your bill.  I think some folks want DNA will like to go ahead and move for DNX session folks that don't want DNX like to go through referendum imaging thinking that case since its clear we are going to get referendum. Thank you Mr. Chair for time please. Representative Rucky. Thank you Mr. Chairman representative Higger what is the issue when you say the city council is split, what the reason for advocating for DNXation and wire sum on the council oppose to that I appreciate as you can imagine there is a referendum you explain. Good question thank you for that question we have pitch problem like rules of mountain area this piece province can only optsis the amount from the town it sits there by itself its an old golf sport camp the folks that want to DNXation and won't able to have a farm there which is not allowed in the city when I have farm animals there the folks that don't want the essential thinks its dangerous residence folks leaving the town and hurting the tax pay thank you. Representative Floyd do you have OK Representative One[sp?] Mr. Chair, Representative Floyd requested I refer to him for the motion. Representative Floyd Yes, turn your mic on if you would please. It's been a long time referral. Referral to the committee on finance. Finance. Yes Yes you heard the motion, all in favor say aye Aye Any oppose? The aye have it. Thank you Representative Thank you Mr. Chairman Stand please Got you House Bill Representative Robinson. Thank you Mr. Chairman, members of the committee this bill comes to you by as a request from the city of [xx] this is property they currently own and they have owned for years it was always known as the old city dam, and it's quite normal there was a water supply for years, and now they would like to annex it, they have a pestle range, they own the property and as far as I know there is no opposition into this and I would be happy to answer any question. Representative Thorn. Have a motion appropriate time please. Any other questions? Representative Cleveland. Is the land contiguous to the city right now? No sir, it's not contiguous, it's outside the city. Representative Cleveland. How far outside the city? I'd say two miles maybe three it doesn't come within the intake year either Any other questions? Representative Juan. Thank you Mr chair move favorable report on house bill 266 referral to finance. You've heard the motion, all those in favor say aye, any oppose? The aye's have it yes, house bill 400, Representative Brawley Thank you Mr chairman this was a request to NX3, extensions of subdivisions and I

think there is two things I think I need to tell you cause Microbarm county ofcourse always has to be differently just special but actually back in the 80's in Mecklenburg county all the municipalities in the county commission negotiated spheres of employment to earn an annexation wards Mecklenburg so everybody that's bought property in Mecklenburg county since 1987 has known which town would eventually take them over. This parts parts were not NX because the houses had not yet been built the roads that enter this are from existing sub divisions they are contiguous to the town. A second thing I out of Mecklenburg county is one of two counties where the sheriff does not provide patrol. There used to be a county police department it was merged into the city department so if you are not in a town with a police department you pay a police service fee to the county patrol of the adjacent neighborhoods, but the county has not done that. The people in the neighborhood are in a very interesting position, they pay 19.37 cent per 100 to the city of Charlotte for police service, they pay seven cents per 100 to Mecklenburg county for fire service, and they hire their own garbage and wait for the state to come in and fix their roads. If annexed to Mint Hill they will then pay a property tax of 27 cents per 100, or a little less than half 51, 000 of what they're paying now, and we'll get all of those services plus garbage plus roads. So this is a friendly annexation. This is just the quickest way to do it, there's a serial referral to finance. Representative Floyd? [xx] Any other questions? Representative Farmer-Butterfield? Is there any opposition to this? none of which I'm aware and quite kindly when I get my haircut such as it is, in the [xx] barber shop I usually get my list of complains. Now I had nothing negative about it. Representative Floyd. Move for favor for house bill 400 over referal to finance. You've had the motion, all those in favor say aye, any oppose? The aye's have it. Thank you. House bill 426, representative Ray. Thank you Mr Chairman, good morning committee members House bill 426 is at the annex section town of Welding is a request from the town of Welding has a role of resolution and also all of the participating land owners and it was the annexation that one time where they were going to have some housing and the housing failed through, and so they requested the annexation. I appreciate your support. Representative Fisher. Thank you Mr. Chairman. A question for the Bill sponsor delegation are all on-board and everybody Everybody is on board. Forward a motion at appropriate time Mr. Chairman. Representative Pendleton. Representative Farmer-Butterfield. Thank you Mr. Chair, I'd like to make a motion and debate appropriate time I heel to Representative Fisher. Representative Fisher I don't see any other questions go right ahead. I move for a favorable report for House Bill 426, and does it have a re-referral to finance, alright? You've heard the motion all those in favor say Aye Aye Any opposed? The Aye's have it. Thank you Thank you Mr Chairman House bill 526, Rep Burr Thank you Mr. Chairman, House Bill 526 is de-accessing a small potion over the town from the town Norwood just to explain this is a town that sits on like territory and most of the residents in the town live on the lake and there that the city limit stops at their property where the high water mark is. So the high water mark and

they appear it doesn't fall in the city limits. The town of Norwood and former legislative Randy and excitation bill in 2004 through the legislature at a very rapid pace with a little discussion in the community. And when they did this they raided part of the lake, which it never been in the city limits, and also pulled in the piers of some of the residents of the area that we're being annexed in and what this is done is it is no longer consistent throughout like Taylor[sp?]. You know if there was an emergency on the lake and you needed fire service or if you need a law enforcement, they would have to determine whether you are in this small area that seems to fall within the city limits. Know [xx] whether you were in the county and you are also paying additional taxes by having your piers annexed in the city limits. And I believe that it is the best interest and I have heard from citizens that live in this area they would prefer that we be consistent in the town and all those that live in the city limits that from majority have their peers aren't going to be included in the city limits won't stop for the high water mark but that should be the case for the others, but just to assure you this is the year area that was annexed in back in 2004. The properties in yellow were the ones that had their piers annexed in city limits to be taxed on it. So rather than pay in the ¢10 fire tax, and the county tax are now paying city tax almost for years, but you can see it really doesn't make a lot of sense, because these are all city limits, but it's this little group of house up here, and then it was all these folks that live in this curve, on a pretty large lake, who are in extend but everybody else Nor-wood lives on like, the town limit stops at their high water mark. So we're just trying to make sure that the town insists and then how folks are getting taxed, and we'd be happy to answer any questions Mr Chairman. Representative Holly. I believe there We have somebody who wants to speak first. No. We'll here from members first, then we'll hear from the public. Thank you Mr chairman. I have a question. I see here that the city has already run water and suits lines out to this property, when the NX property in 04 which is a big expense to the town and I'm sure that by now this stuff has not been paid for because it takes a long time to pay for this kind of thing. What provisions, is that community prepared to do anything provisionally for the ward in Suisse they are now getting with the city?  This wouldn't change it at all because the properties, the houses are still within the city limits. This is just saying that the lake property that, after the high water mark if you look at the legislation basically, all that is controlled by Folk. That it is not city limits and so your peers and those types of things and no one's running water from their peers and so forth in most cases but regardless they're still going to have their homes and their property there within the city limits so that doesn't change. So they are still going to be taxed, they are still in the city limits, they are just simply moving their city limits back to the high water mark to be consistent with every one else that lives within the city limits Representative Walford Did you know that fire the town council be attentions to this we have that is what this park of the distandard out was it from the town council did you notify the town council to the NX necessary? They saw when the bill was found Any other questions from the committee? Representative Penlton use your mic please. Mr. Chairman everybody needs if you read this I think it was added up the over load just to make sure you know both sides of school. Representative Crichton Thank you Mr. Chairman, I need some clarification from what you just said are you telling me that you just DNX the wet part water in the lake from the city and none of the actual property is being DNXed. It will DNXing to higher water mark which is property that is regulated by far and it is owned by the Duke power company, but the individuals are being taxed on that property of the higher rate that leave within this area so folks and the yellow here are being taxed

at a higher rate than everybody else in the city you can't see sorry we wanted to make sure you could see this the actual properties here so the town is significantly larger than this and good number of folks have the right just trying to make sure they were consistent and how the spokes are being tagged and also consistent in terms of emergency services if someone is called out they know that it's the sheriff department that county that goes out verses the city when emergency happens on the lake which would be case everywhere else except the small area. Follow up. According to this document from the town, they presently provide free protection to the people in this area and they are within two miles of the people within this area. And the sheriff's office if you just said the sheriff's office if they were DNXed to the sheriff's office would provide protection which is 10 miles away. if the property is not being DNXed why is the sheriff's office being tasked to provide security when the town collecting the taxes and they're right next door. Well we're only talking about on the lake anything that happens on your residence is still on the city limits, but in terms of alike emergency. Is it the rule of fire department which will come out for every other emergency on the lake, on the Stanley county side, they're going to come except for this small area, which means if you're in the lake calling 911, you're here in the curve you call, who do they dispatch? Do they dispatch rule center? Do they dispatch normal fire department so if this is the NX so that it's consistent throughout the entire town that every is being, that the city limits are stopping at the high watermark and that your peers are in the county, which is the case everyone else in Stanley county, then they know who to send out. They know that it's the rule of fire department, that is the sheriff department, and so forth form that, that perspective, but it's treating everyone failry and equally which is not the case. This bill was rushed through the legislature in 2004 with little notice to the citizens that are being in extent, and then this is the folks who have come to me asking for this to be done, so that they cane be treated. They're fine with being left in the city limits with the residents being left in the city limits, but not having their peers and having that property taxed at a higher rate than anyone else and you can see you can look at this as what was the NXT and I'm happy to pass this information around, but this is just trying to make sure that we're consistent with the property on the lake. Representative Debrukey. Thank you, in this mystery that we received, we open it up, you see the concerns of the town, I would want to know first of all Mr. Chairman is there from the town who has come here to speak against the bill? Yes they are going to in just a moment. Could I hear from them and then have a series of questions? Let me one more, Representative name we will hear from you. Thank you, I have to come back then Yes, okay Representative Whitemire go ahead.  I just want to make clarification that we are talking about the hot water mall he said that two or three times but I don't necessarily on water how a lot more motives will our people may with the likes and how they operate up there just want to clarify that you keep saying water but actually is how water nd most people have to bought houses and everything down and that's what people were talking about thank you. I have two people I think stand up from the to speak, Mayor Beverly Johnson and  you have one minute. I'll give you two minutes, we'll make it two minutes.  Thank you Chairman Forward. My name is Beverly Johnson and I have the privilege of being the mayor of Norwood North Carolina located along beautiful shores of Lake Turin in Steolen county. I would like to that each of you for the opportunity of addressing your House Bill 526, a bill that is of great concern to the Norwood council and I have with me Brown [xx] the new administrator of Norwood who is responsible for your package. I have lived in the Norwood for almost 70 years. 50 of these was spent right outside the city limits of Norwood on a rule area where we had to depend on the county for placing fire detection, protection located nearly 10 miles away. A well for water, a plumer for when the  service fail and also of course we had to go to the local convenient for garbage. In 1999 my husband and I purchased a home inside limits of Norwood and like a

city limits of Norwood I'm like tolerate. Our home is located within one mile of the affected area House Bill 526. It did not take us long to realize how nice it was to have the convenience provided by the municipality. Water, [xx] police protection in that wonderfully convenient garbage pickup. Now the serious side of this bill, in the handout she received you will notice the resolution which was adopted by our town and for the following reasons of course public safety the area that for de-annexation last between the home owners properties and their assess rebuilding in both houses in a situation when a fire department is needed. A citizen would need the municipal fire department for a house fire in the county fire department for a better house fire. The same would happen in a situation where you need a place protection possibly causing a delay because the county police are over 10 miles away, and right now they claim they have a staff shortage. Representative [xx] will argue that he wants to create a level playing field that can cause confusion with the home owners. Could you wrap it up please? Don't. One thing the timing of this, I have several other things I'd like to discuss with you, but the timing of this he was asked, said in 2004 that this was a fast paced bill. I'm saying this de-annexation is a fast paced bill because we were notified on a Thursday afternoon by the newspaper asking us what response did we have to this annexation bill, that is how we found it out, and we had to get on the stick and get busy, and if the situation has been good for 10 years then I say if it isn't broke don't fix it, and I thank you for your attention. Thank you, anyone else in the public wishing to speak? Mr. Chairman, will the mayor yield for a question? I have to go back to Representative Luebke first unless he defers to you. I will defer to Representative Brawley. Go ahead Representative Brawley. Thank you Representative Luebke, and thank you Mr. Chairman. Mayer Johnson, one of the things that was said is that there are many homes in Norwood that're within the city limits, but their accessory boat houses and the land further or below the high water mark are not part of the town and this particular properties are treated differently. Is that correct? Not correct Sir. When we've a Falcao within the city limits the Norwood Fire Department has to be called in as a house fire, my understanding is that both the Volunteer Fire Department and the Norwood Fire Department respond. Follow up, follow up. Mayor my question was not did you service them with your fire department, my question was, did you tax the land below the high water mass. No, sir. Okay the assertion that you're taxing property in this particular area that you do not tax in the majority of the water front property and know what is true That's true Thank you. Rep Burger right here Mayor Johnson, thank you for being here today. We agreed on a lot of things this is what we are disagreeing on and by the way this is not the unanimous resolution by the city council there was a member of your city council who lives on the lake agrees that this's unfair that she doesn't have to pay this tax but other people have to pay this tax do you live on the lake Mayor Johnes. I did when I moved there I moved across the street. Your property that was on the lake was it was your pay taxed, it was taxed when I moved there there was a mistake at one time made by the county taxing office. By the city. Well the mistake not made by the city that what the county did. Alright representative Lukey. Thank you Mr Chairman I might begin by asking a question to the Mayor go right ahead. There's a need of forth whereas there's reference to the expense to the town great expense to the town for extending water and sewer utilities can you tell us more about that what kind of investment the town made and what consequences would the town budget would e if this bill was successful? Yes sir I appreciate that because I didn't get to that what I was going to tell you, we're in the process of completing the end of gin, a tip over around a $2 million sewer project that has been an on going quite a project down around there for development, there's this sewer project allows a restaurant down there now to alcohol sales which the county does not, this restaurant will loose its

alcohol premier if this bill takes place, right now Norwood has 66% of job loss in the last 10 years, we need to develop money in that area we need everything we can get to promote that area, it's a beautiful area and we're trying to be careful with it and that's just the way I feal project is scheduled to be completed in June, in May of 1st of June and that's why I say this 10 times on this The annex section bill just has problems for us. Question for Representative Burr. Representative Burr, who asked you to file this the annexation bill? A number of residents that live in this area that quite frankly many of them who still don't have services 10 years later asked to be completely the annex, but it didn't comfortable going that far, and felt that at least let's put the entire town is rethal on like on level plane filled by aining the town and high water mark. Well the town has made a significant investment as the mayor said and it seems to me if you've got a few people that are unhappy with what's happening they really opt to be discussion with the city and not have rally through a bill. I've been trying to deal with a really basically disagreements that are going on within the town don't you think this would be a better way to do to, to allow the residents to discuss this with the city as opposed to your filing the bill. I think the residents have been trying to discuss this with the city for 10 years their concerned about it some passed on let it and their spouses continues to do so, but representative Rucky I think they are trying to confuse use the point we are not trying to dnx everything that they nx years ago we're simply just Dnxing at the high water mark. All of the homes that dnx in and that are being taxed still going to sit within the city limits so they're running water to homes that will still sit there and they are still going to be able to tax those homes. That doesn't change this at all it simply removing the peers which is a very small portion of the tax dollars over all but for this individuals it's bigger than the tax dollars just quite frankly the fact that they are treated differently from any other citizens and if they did this in 2004 with the purpose and intent of annexing all the peers then they annexed then this area appeared too why did they not annex appears there or here or over here where they annexed this area and why did they not annex and the peers around there. It's because they rushed this through and did a pretty shoddy job at doing it, and I know that we've had staff trying to massage out the descriptions in here to figure out how to DNX the peers, but I wish you could read this, it's a bit tough to read I have to pull it up on the computer, but they managed to mention the point here and basically in this description, it says that it'll go from this point, jump across the lake to this point, and then continue on with little description at all, and it was a build up [xx] together and putting this together and to get the information, and I have the mayor's and the city council's concern about the restaurant, the Marine are there and have asked them that if they would put a description together, and we're trying to work on one structure one hour now to get a description to leave that mariner within the city limits, but it's difficult because there's no description of that property in here. So, we're trying to do that and we're going to work still moves through the process so taking their concerns with that property into consideration but we're just trying to make sure that everybody in account is treated equally which I think is a reasonable thing to do and just acquaint we know this one out for emergency call whenever there's an issue on the line. Okay representatives, system one second, we've got six in the queue we will take a vote on 10:45 or before because we do have a session at 11. Representative Lucas Thank you Mr. Chairman and members I am very concerned points raised about fire protection police protection and basically

it's been pointed out by the mayor as nothing rebutted by or representing a Bar, and also the whole issue with the restaurant that this is very to the restaurant that it will be able to sell alcohol if this the annexation goes through as it is right now the The restaurant basically loses its ability to operate I just think this is the old joking senate let me lie about it but it's not ready for prime time. I don't believe it's ready this bill is ready to move forward so I oppose the bill and reach out to others to do so. Thank you. Representative Fischer, pass, Representative Representative Jeter. Representative Burr, on the handout given to us by Senator Tom, you know what they list a mayor and five commissioners I'm assuming the top vote getter is mayor [xx]. Is that an accurate statement? No, they elected mayor [xx] but I don't know, it's top vote getter He was. Follow up. Follow up. In other words [xx] listed every member of the government [xx]? Right. And you said one of these individuals didn't vote in favor of this. That's correct. Follow up? Follow up. I'm assuming based on your gender earlier that was Miss Linda Campbell? That's right. May I ask the mayor a question? Go right ahead. Madam Mayor why would you present a document that by all intents and purposes appears that this is unanimous. It did not have her signature on it, did it? The resolution was not signed by her. It's not signed by anyone is it? Yes it is. Okay I'll take it back. Okay, and she chose not to I think it was because she had brought the issue up we are above the board we wanted you to know the whole situation. Representative Bar. And answer representative Rucky said I didn't respond in concerns to the public safety aspect of it. The road centre fire department has two fire departments currently that says one on, one in the town and one right outside of the city limits closer, I would say to this property then the No Word fire department is currently the sheriffs department has the community centre that actually sits at this law fire department and has equipment in an office there for them to serve that area and they're not under staff mayor insinuated we have one raconteur County Commissioner that, doesn't like fact that share Fazal protecting 60, 000 people and not seating at a county commissional meeting protecting him from a group of ladies that are showing up opposing him and what he is trying to do shut announcement about community Schools, that's the reference shes making there actually, because he chooses to be out on a public doing his job not, protecting seven people sitting in a meeting. Also quick reminder that this bill will go to a another comedian to this represent a former battle field. Can I ask the Mayor a question?.   Go right ahead Thank you Mr. Chair Mayor. Yes Ma'am. Do you feel that, all of the, stake holder this coming together at this point can make a difference or not are you on that point? May I add something I have been on the county on the Town council for six years and a mayor now going on my third year. I haven't had one compliant from any citizen down there about this situation. It's real strange that it has just come up with a new sewer project, with a kind of concern with the fire departments. Having a real fire department, our town fire department is getting ready to build a new building out in that area. Because of the difference in the six miles limit, in the five mile limit, town has to be within five miles of your property and we've two new developments out that way. A real fire department can only be six miles away from somewhere and we're in process of building a new fire department. And that's, I think there's more behind this than it's showing up..   One last question, that's to Representative Teber, do you feel that at this point it's beyond the stakeholders coming together in the community and working through this situation at all well for me I think this cleans up the process this put everybody on a level plain field within the city limits so whether it's the mayor former residents

or other City Council members that live on the light but don't live in this particularly, they're not being taxed on their pears and those city limits. And these citizens if this bill passes would be treated just like members of the city council were treated in their homes. Representative Crivelen. Thank you Mr. Chairman for a comment in the motion. I think we have a lot of misinformation floating around here what's good for the goose is good for the gainer if the city has people living on the lake that do not taxing for the board houses and it appears what not and are taxing another part of the folks that blow into the city for these items, that's wrong. The sewer has nothing to do with this, the homes are still there, they're still going to pay their sewer rates, they're going to pay their property taxes. I'd like to make a favorable report house bill 526 for the referral of the finance. You've heard the motion, we've got more represented Graham's, represented Ross, you still want to say anything. Thank you Mr, Chair  I have a question and forgive my lack of middle term knowledge but, and this may be for staff, I've never really seen boat house except below our Water Mark, is a boat house that obviously sits well up in the air that's the purpose of the boat house. Is that considered below the high water mark or is that the high water mark? I mean that's kind of a we had a technical question but it just. Representative Buck, if you wish. When I'm speaking of the High Water mark we're speaking of where the property tends to go, what's regulated by furs, what they consider to be an issue we found out too much about representative Brown and I and others because of the alcohol issue, but it is the property that is controlled by far and it's owned by the utility company attend to run the dams in those areas and it usually extends 15 feet beyond where the water is, the area that they require to have the high water mark for potential flooding assume and other things and that's not necessarily where the water sits on the lake. Quick follow up. Follow up. Who owns the lake? The like here is duke progress. Thank you. Representative Hurley, you still have a question? Yes, thank you Mr. Chairman, I still have some concern about taxing part of somebody's property. You know already this property is adjacent to each other and I would love to take part of my property in say that I have my share on what is the other night but I say I don't want to be taxed on that part you know because it is adjacent a wooded area I have concerns about that I think we need to everything has not been done in local level to try and solve the problems but I don't think we need to be trying to solve it up here until act date be done thank you. Representative Ager. Yeah, we've gone from Peers to boat houses, to restaurant to mariners, can't you give me some idea of what tax base is being pulled out of the town of Norwood with this bill. If the mayor may have that figure but it's very small compare to the overall tax.  Okay.  Madam mayor if you have that figure.  I do, the property tax is minute to you but it's a decrease of $12 million in taxable property which is very significant. Do you have the amount? And I don't have the amount, we were hoping that with finance. Representative Browly, final question. Okay, Thank you Mr Chairman not a question, it's a comment, because I've been listening to this. One of the things we have to do with tax policy is treat similarly situated tax payers equally. The mean high water mark on a front-control water lake, is the edge of the owners property, these people are being taxed on property they do not own, their ownership stops at the main high water mark, when you have a peer, the peer is not on your property. The peer is on the duke energy gives you a permit to build a structure on their property to which you tie the boat, but you do not own it, we have a situation here where some people are being taxed on property that they do not own but are allowed to use by the rightful owners, duke progress, we have other people with facilities on duke progress property that are not being taxed on the land they are allowed to

use by the utility, for consistency sake, we either allow every town to tax everybody on the lake for the Duke Energy property ajusent to them or we start what is effectively an over reach by the town Norwood in collecting revenue from people that do not own the property, but are paying taxes on it, this is not a difficult issue, all you do is tax what they own which is the property to the main hour watermark it will not impact your sewer revenue, your water revenue, you are properly accessed property tax revenue, it will simply stop them from taxing people for property they do not own, this is a good bill vote yes. You've heard the motion from representative [xx] to provide house. Division [xx] Mr. Chairman. Rep. Luke, he has called for division, the motion is to provide house bill 526 the favorable report and refer the bill to the committee on finance. All those in favor raise your hands, all those who oppose raise your hand we've of 11 ayes and seven no's the bill passes. Thank you Mr. Chairman. This committee is adjourned.