A legislative committee looking at school construction needs heard proposed legislation for a new array of potential revenue streams for school construction including a real estate transfer tax. The legislation, presented to the House Select Committee on Public School Construction, would also increase regulatory authority, allowing counties to set up adequate public facility ordinances.
Each county would have to hold a referendum on whether to opt in to the new system. Counties that already have local option real estate transfer taxes and and special impact fee arrangements would have to choose either the new system or their current one.
The Adequate Public Facilities ordinances would allow counties to tie construction permits to available seats in the classroom.
Look for a major, major battle over this as the powerful homebuilders and real estate lobby get involved. Most of these proposals have been around for a while and some towns and counties have been able to win local legislation. Any kind of transfer tax or impact tax has been met with fierce opposition because it captures the value of the home. Some might call that progressive in that the sale of $100,000 starter would see much lower transfer taxes than the $1.1 McMansion.
APOs have been a tough sell as well. Orange County has one as does Cary (or they did at one time). When it was passed in the OC, there was a lot of expectation that there would be a lawsuit challenging the right to do it. While enacting such ordinances would go a long way toward setting up better growth managment practices, each county will need to do a lot of hard thinking on how they'll approach the new powers. In places where county commissions and school boards don't always see eye-to-eye this could stir things up.
Another piece of the legislation would extend the same tax exemption status for privately owned facilties leased for public schools.
No audio for now--the Leg site's glitch today.