AN ACT TO AMEND THE NORTH CAROLINA CONSTITUTION TO PROHIBIT CONDEMNATION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY EXCEPT FOR A PUBLIC USE; TO PROVIDE FOR THE PAYMENT OF JUST COMPENSATION WITH RIGHT OF TRIAL BY JURY IN ALL CONDEMNATION CASES; TO PROVIDE FOR TAXPAYER PROTECTIONS THAT ESTABLISH A STATE EMERGENCY SAVINGS RESERVE FUND; TO REDUCE THE MAXIMUM INCOME TAX RATE TO FIVE AND ONE‑HALF PERCENT FROM TEN PERCENT; AND TO PROTECT THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO HUNT, FISH, AND HARVEST WILDLIFE.
Subject to approval by the voters at the May 3, 2016, statewide election, amends ArticleI of the North Carolina Constitution by adding a new Sec. 19.1 to prohibit the taking by eminent domain of private property except for a public use. Directs that just compensation be paid to the private property owner and provides that either party may request that the amount of just compensation be determined by a jury. Provides that if the majority of votes are in favor of the amendment, the State Board of Elections is to certify the amendment to the Secretary of State and the amendment will become effective upon certification and apply to takings of private property by eminent domain after the certification date.
Amends GS 40A-3(a) and (b1)to restrict private condemnors and local public condemnorsto exercising the power of eminent domain for a public use (was, for a public use or benefit). Amends the list of private condemnors permitted to exercise the power of eminent domain to include communication facilities (was, specified telegraphs and telephones), facilities related to the distribution of natural gas, and pipelines or mains originating in North Carolina for the transportation of natural gas.
Also amends subsection (c) to limit takings by public entities (other public condemnors) to the exercise of eminent domain for the public use (was, public use or benefit). Enacts a new subsection (d) to GS 40A-3 to provide that private condemnors, local public condemnors, and other public condemnors in subsections (a), (b), (b1), and (c) of thisstatute posses the power of eminent domain and may acquire any property for the connection of any customer(s) via purchase, gift, or condemnation.
Makes additional technical changes to punctuation.
Statutory changesbecome effective when this act becomes law and apply to takings occurring on or after that date.
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