1. Public Private Partnerships & Design-Build
Objective: To allow public entities in North Carolina the ability to select two new construction delivery models when appropriate: The AIA seeks to add qualifications based selection of Public-Private Partnerships and Design-Build entities to the list of construction project delivery methods allowed for use by state and local jurisdictions.
2. Tax Reform
Objective: AIA will work with the General Assembly leadership toward tax modernization if:
· No gross receipts service taxes are imposed, must be a “point of sale” tax
· No organizations receive exemptions
· New service taxes are spread broadly to lessen impact on any one industry
· Business to business “pyramiding” issues area dealt with appropriately and eliminated
· Out of state competition does not gain a business advantage with the institution of NC service taxes
3. Energy Jobs & Rate Payer Savings
Objective: To stay the course in North Carolina with the creation of thousands of new jobs in the energy sector:
· Oppose HB 201 - Repeal of the 2012 Energy Conservation Code
· Oppose HB 298/SB 365 - Repeal of the Renewable Energy Potfolio Standards for Public Utilities
4. Invest in Our Critical Public Infrastructure
Objective: Stimulate North Carolina's economy and provide jobs - AIA supports these three strategies:
· Repair and Renovate Neglected Public Buildings & Infrastructure
· Move Forward with Advanced Planning of Critical Public Projects
· Create an Infrastructure Bank
AIA Defends Architects Position in Major Lien Law Revision
The North Carolina General Assembly has adjourned for 2012 but not before making major changes that will affect everyone’s lien standing in the design and construction industry. After a year-long negotiation with the title insurance industry, in what eventually became SB 42 (http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2011/Bills/Senate/PDF/S42v5.pdf), a new statute will take effect in April 2013 that will require all parties who might have a claim of lien to notify a new intermediary before beginning work. This new entity called a “lien agent” will be responsible for tracking the possible lien claimants on all construction projects in the state, with the exception of owner occupied single family renovations.
After the dust settled upon final passage of the bill, the AIA was able to carve out an exemption for all licensed design professionals that should minimize much of our industries exposure to the filing requirements with a lien agent. However, it’s going to be important for architects to understand the new requirements of this law to assist in preserving your traditional lien rights on private development work.
The title insurers began the re-write of the North Carolina Mechanics Lien Law about two years ago to rectify a situation with what they term are “hidden liens.” Their claim was that these liens had become untenable in the construction business in North Carolina and were presenting the industry with an unsustainable amount of risk. So much so that just days before the General Assembly reconvened for the short session this May, the largest title companies in the state informed the Insurance Commissioner that unless the Legislature created some relief, they would be leaving the North Carolina market all together. This declaration, or as some termed a threat, caught the attention of the North Carolina Home Builders who then began to use its considerable influence over the Legislature to press for a solution.
As it was relayed by proponents from the two organizations, “if the Title companies won’t write title insurance, home builders can’t sell homes.” The North Carolina House of Representatives quickly responded by forcing all the stakeholders in the design and construction community to hammer out a solution.
After a couple of failed attempts at dramatic overhauls to the entire mechanics lien statute, the final proposed solution came in the form of the creation of a new entity in the system called a “lien agent.” This individual, who by the way must be a licensed title insurer, is responsible for gathering “lien claimant forms” for a fee from anyone who believes they have a right to eventually file a lien. Theoretically, the new law asserts that a lien agent is the first person hired by an owner for a construction project. The lien agent is then only responsible for collecting lien claimant forms if a potential claimant requests one.