Bill Summary for H 129 (2011-2012)
|View NCGA Bill Details||2011-2012 Session|
TO PROTECT JOBS AND INVESTMENT BY REGULATING LOCAL GOVERNMENT COMPETITION WITH PRIVATE BUSINESS.Intro. by Avila.
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House committee substitute makes the following changes to 1st edition.
Amends the definition of communications service to clarify that (1) sharing data between governmental entities for governmental purposes and (2) providing free services to the public or a subset of the public are not considered to be providing communications service.
Amends GS 160A-340.1, setting the requirements for a city owned communications service provider as follows. Subdivision (2) of proposed GS 160A-340.1(a) requires a city-owned communications service provider to prepare and publish an independent annual report and audit. Amends subdivision (2) to provide that an annual independent audit conducted under GS 159-34 and submitted to the Local Government Commission satisfies the audit requirement of this subdivision. Restricts the provision of communications service by a city-owned service provider to within the corporate limits (was, within the jurisdictional boundaries) of the city that is providing the communications service. Deletes the requirement that a city-owned communications service provider must provide nondiscriminatory access to other permanent distribution facilities. Prohibits the city from airing advertisements or other promotions for the city on a public, educational, or governmental access channel that the city requires another communications service provider to carry. Deletes provision providing that proposed subdivisions (7), (8),and (9) do not apply to communications services provided by a city on or before January 1, 2011.
Makes clarifying and conforming changes to the exemptions from the proposed provisions of Article 16A regarding the provision of communications services by cities. Proposed subsection (b) of new GS 160A-340.2 provides that the provisions regarding city-owned communications service provider requirements, financing, and taxes do not apply to the provision of communications service in an unserved area. Redefines an unserved area to mean a geographical area in which at least 50% (was, 90%) of households either have no access to high speed Internet service or have access to high-speed Internet service only via a satellite provider.
Provides that the proposed provisions regarding city-owned communications service provider requirements, notice and public hearing, financing, taxes and payment in lieu of taxes, and public-private partnerships for communications service, do not apply to a city or joint agency providing communications service as of January 1, 2011, however requires the city or joint agency to limit the provision of communications service to specified service area boundaries.
Clarifies that the notice and public hearing requirements do not apply to the repair, rebuilding, replacement, or improvement (was, repair or improvement) of an existing communications network or equipment relating to an existing network.
Restricts a city or joint agency from entering into certain purchasing or financing contracts (was, also refinancing contracts) unless it complies with the provisions of proposed subsection (b) of new GS 160A-340.4 (financing). Prohibits a city from incurring debt to construct a communications system without first holding a special election under GS 163-287 on the question as to whether the city should incur the debt to build the communications system. Permits the city to provide the communications service if a majority of votes cast in the special election are in favor of incurring the debt. Does not prohibit the city for revising its plan and having an additional special election before offering the service. Provides that a special election required under GS Chapter 159 as a condition to issuing bonds will satisfy the requirements of this section.
Requires a city-owned communications provider to provide requested information to the Secretary of Revenue necessary to calculate the assessment to be made in lieu of taxes. Requires the Department of Revenue to inform each city-owned communications provider of the amount of the assessment by January 1 of each year and requires the city-owned communications service provider to make payment by March 15 of each year.
Directs a city to solicit proposals from private businesses prior to the city engaging in constructing a communications network. Provides criteria for the city to issue requests for proposals including notice requirements. Provides factors for the city to consider in evaluating the proposals. Requires all proposals to be sealed and opened in public. Provides that if the city is unable to successfully negotiate the terms of a contact with the most responsive proposer within 60 days of opening the proposal, the city may enter into negotiations with the next most responsive proposer if such a proposer exists. Allows a city unable to successfully negotiate the terms of a contract with the next most responsive proposer within 60 days to proceed under proposed Article 16A of GS Chapter 160A to provide communications services.
Amends GS 105-164.14 to provide that a city subject to proposed GS 160A-340.5 is not allowed a refund of sales and use tax paid by the city for purchases related to providing communications services as defined in proposed Article 16A. Effective when the act becomes law and applies to sales made on or after that date.
Provides that GS 62-3(23) as amended in this act is not to be construed to change the regulatory nature or requirements applicable to any particular service that is currently regulated by the North Carolina Utilities Commission under GS Chapter 62.
Amends GS 159-175.10 to provide that the additional requirements for reviewing city financing applications do not apply to the repair, rebuilding, replacement, or improvement of an existing communications network or equipment relating to an existing network, but do apply to the expansion of an existing network.
Makes additional conforming and technical changes.