January 8, 2007
The Wake County Board of Commissioners met in regular session Monday, January 8,
2007 at 2:00 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Room, 7th Floor, Wake County Courthouse, Raleigh, North
Carolina. Members present were Commissioners Lindy Brown; Joe Bryan; Paul Coble; Kenn M.
Gardner; Tony Gurley; Betty Lou Ward; and Harold Webb.
Others attending were the County Manager, David C. Cooke; the County Attorney,
Michael R. Ferrell; and the Clerk to the Board, Susan Banks.
Chairman Gurley called the meeting to order.
WHEREAS, the Wake County Board of Education is engaged in a Long Range Building Program; and,
WHEREAS, the voters of Wake County approved the issuance of $970 million in general obligation bonds that will be added to approximately $86 million cash funding to provide for $1.056 billion dollar CIP 2006 building program; and,
WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners has in the past established a plan of record for specific school building programs by appropriating funds into an account for future specific appropriations.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Wake County Board of Commissioners approves the CIP 2006 plan of record, appropriating $1,055,874,837 into an account for future specific project appropriations. The Board of Commissioners will continue to approve projects with each project appropriation presented to the Board of Commissioners for approval.
Adopted this the 8th day of January 2007.
WHEREAS, the Wake County Board of Education has duly requested, through resolutions adopted on November 21, 2006, that the Board of Commissioners approve the appropriation of $281,993,748 and reallocation of $731,319 to the CIP 2006 Building Program; and,
WHEREAS, the Wake County Board of Commissioners approved the acceleration of funding to construct two elementary schools and one middle school and made other modifications,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Wake County Board of Commissioners hereby appropriates $311,544,595 to fund the projects listed and in the amounts specified below:
1. Medicaid Relief
Support permanent Medicaid relief for Counties and oppose proposals that recommend swapping local sales taxes for the state to take over the county share of Medicaid.
2. Lottery Formula
Support proposals to change the School Capital Construction formula in the State Lottery Act to provide for distribution of all funds based on average daily membership.
In addition, the county researched a number of topics during the interim and developed issue papers that were shared, or are planned to be shared with the local delegation and other local government officials. These issue papers identified dated legislation that, if changed, would result in savings to the taxpayers of Wake County. The following issues are submitted for consideration:
3. Sales Tax Adjustment Factor
Re-evaluate the sales tax distribution adjustment factor in G.S. 105-486(b) enacted in 1987 to change how local option sales taxes were distributed to counties. Given recent changes in the definition of point of sale from “origin” to “destination”, the need for the adjustment factor should have been repealed.
4. Register of Deeds’ Supplemental Pension Fund
Reduce the statutorily required County contribution to the Register of Deeds Supplemental Pension Fund (G.S. 161-50.2). The fund is currently running a surplus. Reducing the required contribution level (currently 4.5% of fees collected, excluding deed stamp tax), would allow counties to retain register of deeds’ revenues that would otherwise be transferred to the state. Also included in the NC Association of County Commissioners legislative goals.
5. Wake/Franklin County Boundary Line
As development has increased along the Wake/Franklin County line, there has been confusion over the actual location of the line, specifically regarding the Richland Hills subdivision. This subdivision is in Wake Forest’s corporate limits, and four lots were platted as though they were all or partially in Wake County; however, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) identified line showed the lots to be in Franklin County. Both the Wake County and Franklin County Boards of Commission have requested that the State and County Boundaries Surveyor locate the line in accordance with the 1992 line located on USGS maps, with the exception of locating four disputed lots in the Richland Hills subdivision in Wake County. Once this is accomplished, it is the expectation that both Boards will submit a local bill request to effectuate this change. Since this requires that the County line be slightly altered, the new line must be approved by the General Assembly.
6. Classroom-Size Reduction Waiver
Seek legislation that would provide waivers for fast-growing counties in meeting classroom-size reduction requirements.
7. Election of Local School Boards
Seek local legislation that would require school members to be elected at large, rather than by districts.
8. Homestead Exemption for Seniors
Seek legislation to give counties the authority to change the criteria by which persons at least 65 years of age are eligible for ad valorem property tax relief. To currently be eligible for tax relief, a person must be at least 65 years of age or totally and permanently disabled, and their total income from all sources must not exceed $20,500. The 2001 legislation provided for the income level to increase each year based upon inflation as defined by the social security index. If qualified, a property owner is entitled to a $20,000 property value reduction, or 50% property value reduction, whichever is greater. There are approximately 1,900 properties in Wake County that receive the special homestead exemption.
III. Recommendations from Partner Organizations that Wake County Supports:
The following initiatives have been considered and recommended by a number of state and local associations for inclusion in their 2007 legislative agenda. These organizations include the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce (GRCC), North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC), North Carolina Association of County Directors of Social Services (NCACDSS), North Carolina Association of Local Health Directors (NCALHD), North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA), Regional Transportation Alliance (RTA), Triangle J Council of Governments (TJCOG), and Wake County Human Services Board (WCHSB). Wake County supports the following issues.
1. Request that the North Carolina Department of Transportation provide gap funding for new toll road construction (GRCC, RTA).
2. Seek legislation to allow all counties to enact any or all of several revenue options from among those that have already been authorized for any other county, including local option sales taxes, impact fees and real estate transfer taxes (NCACC, TJCOG).
3. Support legislation to allow, but not require, investing assets for other post-employment benefits (OPEB) similar to retirement funds (NCACC).
4. Support legislation to exempt counties, cities, school boards and community colleges from payment of state and local sales taxes on purchases within North Carolina. The legislation shall contain a provision permitting the state to repay the last refund over a multi-year period to minimize state budget impacts. Alternatively, the Association will support legislation to restore public schools’ access to state sales tax refunds (NCACC, NCSBA).
5. Support additional state funds for child care to eliminate the daycare waiting list (NCACC, WCHSB).
6. Request adjustment of the state formula to increase Wake County’s share of state child day care allocations (WCHSB).
7. Support continued and expanded funding for Medicaid and NC Health Choice for pregnant women; infants, children and teens; adults of child-bearing age; and families with young children (WCHSB).
8. Support legislation that prohibits health insurers from refusing to accept assignment of benefits (NCACC).
9. Support state funding for the Health Information System and the NC FAST automation initiative in social services (NCACC, NCALHD, NCACDSS).
10. Support legislation to provide greater discretion at the county level to establish fees for the inspection of food and lodging facilities (NCACC, NCALHD, WCHSB).
11. Support additional appropriations to add school health personnel in all counties so that each school system reaches a nurse/student ratio of 1/750 (NCACC, WCHSB).
12. Support elimination of health hazards of second hand smoke by providing local governments and Boards of Trustees of Community Colleges the option of designating their buildings/campuses smoke free (NCACC, WCHSB).
13. Support creation of a state earned income tax credit for low-income citizens (WCHSB).