AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR UNIFORM AUTHORITY TO IMPLEMENT SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT FEES FOR PUBLIC WATER AND SEWER SYSTEMS IN NORTH CAROLINA.
Enacts new GS 160A-314.2 to allow the governing board of a water and/or sewer system to charge a system development fee made up of: (1) a charge for a portion of the infrastructure existing at the time the new customer asks for additional infrastructure or new services to be provided and (2) a charge for a portion of the future needs of the water or sewer, or water and sewer, system that bears a reasonable relationship to the service requested and its impact on the water or sewer, or water and sewer, system. Defines governing board to mean the governing body of the city, county, or other unit of government as established by Part 2 of Article 2 of GS Chapter 130A, Article 1 of GS Chapter 162A, Article 4 of GS Chapter 162A, Article 5 of GS Chapter 162A, Article 5A of GS Chapter 162A, or Article 6 of GS Chapter 162A.
Limits who can be charged the development fee to: (1) real property not previously served by the water or sewer, or water and sewer, system and (2) a developer or other owner of real property that agrees to pay the fee as part of a development agreement under Part 3A of Article 18 of GS Chapter 153A or Part 3D of Article 19 of GS Chapter 160A.
Requires that the calculation of the system development fee be reviewed annually and published in the budget ordinance, with any changes in the formula or other means of calculating the system development fee being effective from July 1 until June 30 of each year. Specifies factors that must be considered in the calculation of the fee.
Requires that the money collected from the development fee be used only for repairs, maintenance, expansion, or other construction needs of the water or sewer, or water and sewer, system and prohibits using the fee for overhead costs of the system or transfer to the governing board's general fund.
States the General Assembly's intent that, effective October 1, 2017, the authority set out in this statute be the exclusive authority to impose fees on property owners connecting to the water or sewer, or water and sewer, system for the availability of the services and future needs of the service. Effective October 1, 2017, a local act granting the authority to impose an impact fee or other type of system development fee for connecting to a water or sewer, or water and sewer, system is not effective for that use or purpose; however, any fee properly imposed under such a local act prior to October 1, 2017, may be lawfully collected pursuant to the provisions of that local act.
Make conforming changes to GS 160A-314, GS 160A-317, GS 130A-64, GS 153A-277, GS 162A-6, GS 162A-36, GS 162A-49, GS 162A-69, GS 162A-72, GS 162A-85.13, and GS 162A-88.
Amends GS 1-52 to impose a three-year statute of limitations on an action against a county, municipality , or other unit of government for the refund or release of any improperly imposed system development fee.
The above provisions are effective October 1, 2017.
Sets out the process a person asserting a valid claim for the return of money paid to unit of government for an improperly imposed system development fee imposed before October 1, 2017, for the future services of a water and/or sewer system is to follow as well as the procedure the governing body must follow in evaluating such a claim.
Provides that if, within 90 days after receiving a person's request for release of an unpaid fee claim, the governing body of the unit has declined the request for untimely filing, failed to grant the release, has notified the person that no release will be granted, or has taken no action on the request, the person must pay the fee. If within 90 days after receiving a person's request for refund the governing body has failed to refund the full amount requested by the person, has notified the person that no refund will be made, or has taken no action on the request, the person may bring a civil action against the unit for the amount claimed, within three years from the expiration of the 90‑day period in which the governing body is required to act. Requires that such a civil action be brought in the appropriate division of the general court of justice of the county in which the unit is located. If, upon trial, it is determined that the fee or any part of it was improper, judgment must be rendered therefor with 6% interest, plus costs, to be collected as in other civil actions.
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