AN ACT TO AMEND CERTAIN LAWS GOVERNING AGRICULTURAL MATTERS.
Amends GS 106-498, requiring a satisfactory bond to be furnished by a handler of fruits and vegetables prior to being issued a permit from the Commissioner of Agriculture to contract with a producer. Provides that the bond must be payable to the state and must be conditioned upon the fulfilling of all financial obligations incurred by the handler with all producers with whom the handler transacts business (currently, with whom the handler contracts). Further provides that any producer alleging any injury by fraud, deceit, willful injury, or failure to comply with the terms of any agreement by a handler (currently, with the terms of any written contract by a handler) can bring suit on the bond against the principal and his surety in any court of competent jurisdiction, and can recover the damages found to be caused by those acts. Effective October 1, 2017.
Amends GS 153A-340, pertaining to the power granted to a county to adopt zoning and development regulation ordinances for the purpose of promoting health, safety, morals, and general welfare. Amends subdivision (1) of subsection (b) to provide that these regulations cannot affect property used for bona fide farm purposes (currently, allows regulations to affect property used for bona fide farm purposes, but limited the regulations as provided in subdivsion (3) concerning swine farms). Makes conforming change to eliminate subdivision (3), and makes technical changes. Makes conforming change to GS 106-743.4(a).
Directs the Environmental Management Commission (Commission) to classify facilities that store products that are (1) grown, produced, or generated on one or more agricultural operations and (2) that are renewable energy resources as defined in GS 62-133.8(a)(8), as agricultural operations that are exempt from the requirements of 15A NCAC 02D .1806. Establishes that this directive expires on the date that the required permanent rules, as set out below, are adopted. Further, provides that until the effective date of the required revised permanent rule, the Commission is to implement 15A NCAC 02D .1806 as described in the directive above. Directs the Commission to adopt rules to amend 15A NCAC 02D .1806 consistent with the directive to the Commission.
Amends GS 105-277.3(a), which sets forth classes of property designated as special classes of property that must be appraised, assessed, and taxed as provided in GS 105-277.2 through GS 105-277.7. Amends the provisions concerning agricultural land's income requirement of at least $1,000 for the three years preceding January 1 of the year for which the benefit is claimed, to include income for grazing fees for livestock in the gross income used to meet the income requirement. Effective for taxes imposed for taxable years beginning on or after July 1, 2017.
Amends GS 68-17, to add new subsection (b) to provide for abandoned livestock. Deems livestock abandoned when (1) it is placed in the custody of any other person for treatment, boarding, or care; (2) the owner of the livestock does not retake custody of the animal within one month after the last day the owner paid a fee to the custodian for the treatment, boarding, or care of the livestock; and (3) the custodian has made reasonable attempts to collect any past-due fees during the one-month period. Provides the following in the case that, after the one-month period, the custodian of the abandoned livestock has been unsuccessful in collecting the past-due fees and the owner of the livestock has not retaken custody of the livestock. Authorizes the custodian to sell or transfer the livestock by executing an affidavit that identifies the buyer or transferee of the livestock and certifies compliance with the criteria and requirements of new subsection (b). Provides that if the custodian is unable to sell or transfer the livestock, the custodian has the option of otherwise humanely disposing of the abandoned livestock. Requires a custodian to provide written notice of the provisions of new subsection (b) in conspicuous type to the owner of livestock at the time the livestock is delivered for treatment, boarding, or care, as specified.
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