The NC GOP's sustained attack on local control

Municipal governments may soon be just a fond memory:

These bills significantly favor the interests of homebuilders and Realtors, but at what would be the great expense of communities across North Carolina, and here in Moore County. One of those bills we’ve already discussed here: State Sen. Tom McInnis’ bill preventing municipalities from regulating tree removal. McInnis says he’s no longer pushing his bill, but it remains ominously in the mix.

Other pending legislation is even more grievous. One bill would prohibit municipalities from regulating the minimum square footage of homes, something that has long been the purview of local government. Another bill would roll back reasons a municipal code enforcement officer may consider a building unsafe. And still another would extend the tax exemption to homebuilders from three to five years for unsold houses, and restrict a town’s ability to make a builder clean up a dilapidated site that violates an ordinance.

I've been dealing with the issue of property rights (heavily) for the last 15 months or so, and I can safely say it's a tremendous balancing act. But one thing is certain; when citizen groups get involved in the process (as opposed to one or two ranters) on a local level, they can influence said process. Nobody gets everything they want, but that is itself a sign that property rights are being respected. But apparently some Legislators simply do not understand that:

What it all amounts to is an assault on the ability of local government — the government that’s closest to the people — from managing growth and development. “If we allow this to continue, there will be no need for county and city commissioners because Raleigh will be in charge,” said Aberdeen Town Commissioner Ken Byrd.

Or, as Whispering Pines Mayor Pro Tem Bob Zschoche suggests: “We might as well just take the land development ordinance and toss it out.”

Boles: “These are public bills reflecting municipalities overreaching their authority and affecting property rights. You will have a lot of conversation about these issues and whether municipalities are overstepping their boundaries.” McInnis refused to even answer questions about any bills that weren’t his. But of his tree bill and others, he said his legislation is “all about jobs and fostering economic development.”

Understand, that extension of the property tax exemption on unsold homes directly impacts local government revenue. Ergo, the ability of local government to protect citizens with police and fire departments. It doesn't have a damn thing to do with state revenues, so these dudes need to keep their hands off.

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