Bill Summary for H 500 (2021-2022)

Summary date: 

Apr 9 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
House Bill 500 (Public) Filed Thursday, April 8, 2021
AN ACT TO ENACT THE DISASTER RELIEF AND MITIGATION ACT OF 2021 AND TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS.
Intro. by Bell, B. Jones, McElraft, Miller.

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Bill summary

Section 1

Establishes the Disaster Relief and Mitigation Fund (Fund) in the Department of Public Safety (DPS), Division of Emergency Management (Division). Directs that appropriations to the Fund remain available unless otherwise legislatively directed.

Directs the Division to administer a grant program that allows local governments and nonprofits to apply for funds for (1) flood mitigation efforts, (2) predevelopment assistance to provide small and underserved communities with technical assistance to identify and design shovel-ready projects related to disaster relief and flood mitigation, or (3) matching funds for federal grants or funding for projects related to disaster relief and flood mitigation. 

Appropriates $20 million from the General Fund to the Fund for 2021-22 to be used as specified.

Section 2

Establishes the Transportation Infrastructure Resiliency Fund (Fund) in the Division. Directs that appropriations to the Fund remain available unless otherwise legislatively directed.

Directs the Division to administer a grant program to ensure transportation resilience against natural disasters. Allows awards, in consultation with the Department of Transportation (DOT), to State agencies, local governments, and nonprofits. States three authorized uses: (1) projects that update and prepare transportation infrastructure for storms, mudslides, and flooding events; (2) risk assessments for critical infrastructure routes, building on existing and future reports; and (3) creation of community-informed flood risk and vulnerability assessments that identify resilience gaps and project opportunities for transportation routes in the state to maintain vital transportation following flooding events. 

Appropriates $20 million for 2021-22 from the General Fund to the Fund.

Section 3

Enacts GS 143B-1001, establishing the Office of Recovery and Resiliency (Office) within the Division, with seven identified functions including executing multiyear recovery and resiliency projects and auditing, financing, complying with, and reporting on disaster recovery funds and program and construction management services. Allows Office funds to be used to locate Office employees in key regions or foster local government partnerships to address capacity gaps and aid local access to related federal funds.

Directs the Office to establish an intergovernmental working group with representatives from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), local governments, and other stakeholders to identify jurisdictional challenges related to stream management and flooding reduction. Requires the working group to make recommendations to the specified NCGA committee by February 1, 2022. 

Appropriates $524,363 in recurring funds for 2021-22 and $594,363 in recurring funds for 2022-23 to the Office to support up to five full-time equivalent positions to provide technical support to communities with resiliency planning and projects.

Section 4

Allocates Mitigation Program funds to the Office to develop Flood Resilience Blueprints for major watersheds impacted by flooding to be used in a State flood planning process, riverine and stream management, and local government stormwater maintenance programs. Directs the Office to identify major watersheds affected by flooding and direct the funds toward activities which are central to the creation of actionable blueprints, as specified. Details blueprint content and form. Encourages the Office to examine examples from other states. Directs the Office to report by July 1, 2022, to the specified NCGA committees on implementation.

Section 5

Appropriates $20 million from the General Fund to the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR)'s Land and Water Fund, and authorizes the Division of Land and Water Stewardship to use the funds to provide grants, subject to project scoring criteria it develops, to State agencies, local governments, and nonprofits for projects to protect and restore floodplains and wetlands for the purpose of storing water, reducing flooding, improving water quality, providing wildlife and aquatic habitat, and providing recreational opportunities (pursuant to GS 143B-135.234(c)(12)). 

Amends GS 143B-135.244 to include in the annual report by the Clean Water Management Trust Fund Board of Trustees, beginning in 2024, a review of all projects funded by the Clean Water Management Trust Fund over time pursuant to GS 143B-135.234(c)(12) and the extent to which each project reduced flooding during flooding events. 

Section 6

Appropriates $1.3 million in recurring funds from the General Fund to DEQ for 2021-23 to create four additional permanent full-time positions to staff the Resilient Coastal Communities Program and for coastal planning and management grants.

Section 7

Appropriates $250,000 from the General Fund to the Division to support NC 2-1-1 activities. 

Section 7.1

Appropriates $20 million from the General Fund to DEQ for 2021-22 for allocation to the Coastal Storm Mitigation Fund.

Section 8

Appropriates $5 million from the General Fund to DEQ's Division of Mitigation Services for 2021-22 to create one or more pilot projects addressing chronic flooding in the Stoney Creek watershed as specified. Provides for the project to serve as the basis for expanding such projects to additional watersheds as provided.

Appropriates $25 million from the General Fund to DEQ's Division of Mitigation Services for 2021-22 for allocation to the Natural Infrastructure Flood Mitigation program for flood reduction projects in three to six additional priority watersheds. 

Amends GS 143-214.11A to require inclusion of specified information on flood storage projects funded under the statute in the Division of Mitigation Service's annual report required under GS 143-214.13.

Section 9

Appropriates $32 million to the Office for 2021-22 for Neuse River flood mitigation activities, to be allocated in specified amounts for four specified purposes. 

Section 10

Appropriates $36.5 million from the General Fund to the Office for 2021-22 for Lumber River flood mitigation activities, to be allocated in specified amounts for four specified purposes. 

Section 11

Reenacts GS 105-130.34 as it existed immediately before its expiration; reenacts GS 105-151.12 as it existed immediately before its expiration and recodifies it as GS 105-153.11. Amends the tax credit allowed for real property donations by C corporations or individuals and pass-through entities set forth in GS 105-130.34 and GS 105-153.11 as follows. Current law allows for a tax credit in the amount of 25% of the donated property interest that is useful for public beach access or use, public access to public waters or trails, fish and wildlife conservation, forestland or farmland conservation, watershed protection, conservation of natural areas, conservation of natural or scenic river areas, conservation of predominantly natural parkland, or historic landscape conservation. Amends both statutes to enact identical provisions to instead allow for a tax credit in the amount of 25% of the donated property interest that is useful for (1) farmland preservation; (2) as a buffer to limit land use activities that would restrict, impede, or interfere with military training, testing, or operations on a military installation or training area or otherwise be incompatible with the mission of the installation; (3) fish and wildlife conservation; or (4) floodplain protection in a county that was the subject of a Type II or Type III gubernatorial disaster declaration as a result of a natural disaster in the five years preceding the donation. No longer requires certification by the Department of Environmental Quality and instead requires certification by the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources that the property is suitable for one or more of the valid public benefits specified to support a credit claimed. Makes clarifying changes.

Further amends GS 105-153.11, concerning the credit for real property donations by an individual or pass-through entity, to bar eligibility for any portion of a qualifying donation that is a basis for the credit allowed under the statute from deduction as a charitable donation under GS 105-130.9. Eliminates an outdated provision for the donation of marshland. 

Effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2021.

Section 12

Amends Section 3.9 of SL 2020-97, revising one of the authorized uses of unencumbered funds appropriated to the NC Forest Service under Section 4.1 of SL 2016-124 by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services pursuant to the uses set forth in SL 2020-97 and Section 12.9 of SL 2017-57 to allow the Department to use the funds for the construction authorization and partial construction of a Region One headquarters and training facility for the Forest Services, including an office building with classrooms, an equipment maintenance facility, and multi-bay equipment shelters (previously provided for use for the purchase and renovation of an existing facility for use as a regional headquarters and training facility for the Forest Service). Effective on the date the act becomes law.

Section 13

Makes the act effective July 1, 2021, unless otherwise provided. 

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