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Local Government
County Commissioners Group Schedules Spring District Meetings PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 16 February 2015 06:36

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - With the legislature in full swing, the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners is reaching out to its members with district meetings geared toward updates on legislative activities.

To register visit ncacc.org. Meetings begin at 5:30 p.m. and include dinner. Commissioners in attendance will earn three credits in the "Association Sponsored Programs" category through the Local Elected Leaders Academy Recognition Program.

Schedule:

March 25: Martin County
April 1: Jackson Counmty
April 2: Iredell County
April 9: Onslow County
April 15: Durham County
April 16: Hoke County

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 February 2015 08:13
 
Two New District Court Judges Take Seats in Districts 15A and 25 PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 13 February 2015 05:51

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - Steve Messick is the new District Court Judge in the 15A district that covers Alamance County, while Richard Holloway will hold the seat in District 25, covering Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties.

Both received appointments this week from Gov. Pat McCrory.
 
Messick is a member and manager of The Messick Law Firm, PLLC in Burlington, which focuses on family law, bankruptcy and guardianships, among other areas of litigation. Messick previously served as a State Bar Councilor for Judicial District 15A.  
 
Holloway will replace District Court Judge Gary Dellinger, who retired on December 31, 2014. Holloway is a Caldwell County native, and an assistant district attorney for the 25th Judicial District. He has held the position since 1998.  He received his undergraduate degree from UNC – Chapel Hill and his law degree from Campbell University.

 
Former Moore County Magistrate Sues State Over Requirement To Marry Same-Sex Couples PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 12 February 2015 06:24

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - Former Moore County magistrate Charlie Smoak wants a judge to rule unconstitutional a requirement by the state's Administrative Office of the Courts that magistrates preside over gay marriages even if it violates their religious beliefs.

Smoak filed his lawsuit in Wake County this week. He is joined in the lawsuit by "Jane Doe," who is identified as a current magistrate who wants anonymity because she fears losing her job.

Smoak, a Christian, was a Moore County magistrate for a decade but was not reappointed last year. The suit says he thinks it is because he opposes gay marriage. Smoak wants his job back.

Meantime, a bill to allow magistrates and registers of deeds to opt out of gay marriages for "sincerely held religious objection" has been filed by Senate Leader Phil Berger of Rockingham County.

 
League of Municipalities Sends Action Alert To Members In Support Of SB 20 Gas Tax Bill PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 06:42

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - The League of Municipalities is urging its members to rally behind Senate Bill 20, a bill it says is "crucial to the stability of transportation revenues."

The Alert to local government officials reads:

"Please contact your House and Senate members to express your support for SB 20 IRC Update/Motor Fuel Tax Changes. Earlier today, Senate leaders rolled out this legislation, which is crucial to the stability of transportation revenues, and the Senate Finance and Appropriations committees each gave their approval to the bill. The legislation is expected to be considered on the Senate floor on Wednesday and Thursday, before moving to the House for consideration.
 
The bill will very quickly cut the state motor fuels tax by 2.5 cents per gallon, but subsequently create a new, higher floor for the tax which should provide stability for the transportation revenue stream going forward. As you are aware, cities and towns maintain the majority of road miles within their borders, and roughly one quarter of the money spent for this purpose comes from state Powell Bill funds. If the gas tax remains unchanged, it is expected to fall by as much as 6 to 8 cents per gallon, as it is pegged to wholesale fuel prices. This will lead to an overall drop in transportation dollars of $300 to $400 million, with a significant decrease in Powell Bill money, which was $147 million last year.

The League is supporting this legislation as it supports member goals of addressing transportation needs at the state and local level going forward. Cities and towns also stand to lose substantial sums without legislative action. The new gasoline tax floor should provide stability for both state transportation dollars and Powell Bill funds. The new formula also should help those dollars to grow in the future assuming gasoline prices rise at some point.

However, the 2.5 cent cut in the tax that is included in the legislation will mean less Powell Bill funds in the coming fiscal year. Under current law, the tax is adjusted every six months to reflect the ups and downs of fuel prices. The current formula sets it as the sum of 17.5 cents plus either 3.5 cents or 7 percent of the average wholesale price, whichever is greater.

The Senate bill would change the formula, setting the tax at 17.5 cents plus either an additional 17.5 cents (to make the minimum rate of 35 cents) or 9.9 percent of the average wholesale fuel price, whichever is greater. It would also set the gas tax once a year, on January 1, as opposed to the current system of reassessing the gas tax every 6 months. The initial 2.5 cents cut to the tax would take effect March 1, while the other changes would become effective Jan. 1, 2016.

This legislation may represent the best chance to protect state transportation and Powell Bill funding streams over the long-term. Please contact your legislators and ask them to support SB 20 to bring stability to transportation dollars."

 
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