NCHBA President-Elect Phil Warrick (left) and his wife Ann (right) enjoy the company of Representative Jon Hardister (center, R-Guilford) who is the House Majority Whip.
NCHBA President-Elect Phil Warrick (left) and his wife Ann (right) enjoy the company of Representative Jon Hardister (center, R-Guilford) who is the House Majority Whip.

Members of the North Carolina Home Builders Association traveled to Raleigh in May to tell lawmakers about the importance of keeping housing affordable.

On Tuesday, May 22, hundreds of home building advocates greeted state legislators at the North Carolina Museum of History for NCHBA’s annual Legislative Reception.

The following day, Wednesday, May 23, our members gathered at the North Carolina General Assembly to meet with House and Senate members from their respective districts. The General Assembly was in the midst of its “short session.” Among the issues discussed with legislators were the following:

HB 948 (Building Code Regulatory Reform)

This bill arose from the work of the House Select Committee on Implementation of Building Code Regulatory Reform between the sessions and which NCHBA played a key role in creating. Key provisions of the bill:

Clarify the law which allows a licensed engineer/licensed architect to certify a component or element of a building. It also defines the terms element or component and makes changes designed to expedite this process.

Establish a statutory basis for the existing “inspector marketplace pool” composed of retired Code enforcement officials which is currently available to cities and towns. It would allow a builder to request an inspector from this inspector pool whenever the builder demonstrates that a requested inspection has not been conducted within two business days. The builder would pay the Department of Insurance for the services provided by the marketplace pool inspector; however, the builder would recoup the portion of the permit fees that applied to the inspections the local governments failed to provide.

Allow greater flexibility in granting provisional licenses to Code-enforcement officials who are certified and in good standing in other states or with ICC designations; to

Authorize cities and counties to enter into mutual aid contractors for code enforcement and administration; and

Require reports to demonstrate compliance with the law that inspection department receipts must be spent to benefit the inspection departments.

HB 507 (Land Use Regulatory Changes)

This bill, which has passed the House during last year’s session, and is currently assigned to the Senate Rules Committee, addresses the following land-use and development topics:

Permit choice/vesting/rezoning

Further provisions would allow landowners to bypass the Board of Adjustment for certain claims and clarifies the award of attorneys’ fees to landowners in actions against local governments who exceed their authority and make refinements to NCHBA’s performance guarantee reforms enacted in 2015.

Final Sales Tax on Labor Fix

The conference report on adjustments to the state budget included a final fix to the sales tax on labor which will allow contractors who pay sales tax on materials for a repair, maintenance, or installation projects to pay the tax at the retail level and receive credit on the sales tax remitted to the Department of Revenue. Those who perform RMI projects will continue to charge customers sales tax on the entire project (i.e., materials, labor and profit) but will deduct the sales tax paid on materials from the sales tax paid to the state. NCHBA staff heard from many builders and subcontractors across the State who perform RMI projects that they would like to see this change in the law.