108th Annual NCACC Conference Recap



Photo courtesy of NCACC

The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) hosted its annual conference in Greenville, NC, August 20-23, 2015.

The annual conference culminated in the swearing in of President Glenn Webb, along with the seating of 2015-2016 President Elect, First Vice President, Second Vice President, and Past President.

Glenn Webb, Chairman of the Pitt County Board of Commissioners, currently serving his second term as Commissioner, was sworn in as President of the NCACC for the 2015-2016 term. “I’m proud to be a county commissioner because we have built the most responsive and stable governments in this state. We play by the rules even though many times they are stacked against us,” says Webb.

“That success is because we work hard and we work together. We have to do our job with compromise, ingenuity and backbones made of iron. We do not have the luxury of distance from our constituents, and moreover we don’t seek it.”[1] To learn more about President Webb, click here for our exclusive interview after being chosen as the NCACC President-Elect in 2014.

The 2015-2016 Executive Board was essentially a shuffling of the 2014-2015 Executive Board. Former First Vice President Fred McClure of Davidson County was seated as President-Elect, former Second Vice President Brenda Howerton of Durham County was seated as First Vice President, and outgoing President Ronnie Beale of Macon County was officially seated as Past President. Surry County Vice Chairman Larry Phillips was elected as Second Vice President, defeating Marty Cooke of Brunswick County and Charles Messer of Henderson County.

As the only new member of the Executive Board, Larry Phillips brings in experience on the NCACC Economic Development and Government Efficiency Taskforces, and lifelong ties to the mountains of western North Carolina. He was recognized by Time Magazine for his work and leadership to improve adult literacy and continuing education within Surry County.[2]

Featured Presentations

Keynote Speaker David Mead opened the conference on Friday with his presentation on Start With Why. Mead works with leaders to help create an environment where employees show up to work because they want to, not because they have to, as they are inspired to contribute to something bigger than themselves. He helps individuals look at their careers and organizations from the viewpoint of “Why,” the higher cause or purpose of their involvement, then to think, act, and communicate in a way that brings their “Why” to life.[3]

To coincide with the release of a report of NCACC’s Mental Health Engagement Task Force, Jim Blackburn was asked to address the conference on Saturday, August 22nd. Blackburn rose to fame as the prosecuting attorney for the murder trial of Dr. Jeffrey R. MacDonald in the early 1970s. Through this fame and fortune, Blackburn inwardly suffered from depression, his drive to win at any cost ending his legal career and leading him to several ethical misdeeds that landed him in state prison for 3 years. Blackburn shared his story by bringing to light the very real and complicated issues of mental illness and depression. “Where there is adversity, there are also opportunities and the chance to begin all over again. For me, it took, and takes, hope, faith, humor, friendship and a willingness not to ever give up.[4]”


Additional information and links to the workshops listed below can be found on the 2015 Annual Conference Presentations page of the NCACC Website.

  • LELA Pre-Conference Seminar: Real Colors with Dan Clark
  • Preparing North Carolina to Respond to the Avian Flu Crisis
  • Civic Health: Connections at the Heart of an Innovative Community
  • Mental Health Crisis Intervention and Prevention: State Efforts and Local Models
  • Lessons from Losses: What Commissioners Should Know
  • Urbanization & Migration in North Carolina: Practical Applications for Demographic Data
  • Mental Health Service Gaps: Where Are They and How Do We Close Them?
  • NC History Lesson, Part I: The Effect of Indian Wars and Indian Removals of 1585-1835
  • Rooted in Leadership: Connecting Agriculture to Economic Development
  • NC History Lesson, Part II: North Carolina’s ‘People of Color,’ 1835-1954
  • Models for Local Infrastructure Financing
  • Innovations and Best Practices in Regional Collaboration
  • ‘Aye’ for Answers! The 311 on Election Law Changes and Preparing for 2016
  • ‘Stepping Up’ to Reduce the Number of Mental Ill in Jails
  • The A-F of School Accountability Grades[5]

[1] “Pitt County Commission to lead Association,” NCACC News Releases, http://ncacc.org/index.aspx?nid=453
[2] https://www.facebook.com/CommissionerPhillips/info?tab=page_info
[3] Conference Program
[4] http://blackburnseminars.com/keynote-speaker
[5] Conference Program

Tax Exemption Bill Working Its Way Through the NC General Assembly

tax exemption builder

A proposed NC House bill may affect tax revenue in a big way. House Bill 168, Exempt Builders’ Inventory, could exempt from taxation any improvements made to existing residential or commercial property, for the purpose of resell.

According to the text of the bill:

The exclusion authorized by this subsection ends at the earlier of the following:

  • Five years from the time the improved property was first subject to being listed for taxation by the builder.
  • Issuance of a building permit.
  • Sale of the property.1

If this new bill passes, the tax on the existing property will remain at the same amount for what the property is valued on January 1 of the year construction begins.

The exemption would apply to buildings under construction, or completed, as long as the property is for sale. However, the exemption should not exceed three years from the date of the property being listed for sale and must be applied for annually. If these changes were to go into effect, assessors must specify “what portion of the value is an increase attributable to subdivision or other improvement by the builder.”2

The bill does not limit the exemption to licensed general contractors; this exemption is allowed for any individual with improved property for sale. For example, John Doe buys a large house with the idea of turning it into apartments. He installs new appliances and rewires the entire house with updated, state of the art light switches and sockets. Mr. Doe would be exempt from paying taxes on any increase in valuation of his property as long as he keeps the building for sale as he makes the improvements.

Examples of improvements that would increase the value of the property and would apply for the builders’ exemptions are as follows:

  • subdividing into separate units
  • utility installation
  • curb and gutter

Be sure to stay updated on the progress of this bill as it makes its way through the final review stages in the NC Senate. If the bill passes, it could have an impact the bottom line for your taxing jurisdiction.

1. GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA, SESSION 2015, HOUSE BILL 168http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2015/Bills/House/PDF/H168v4.pdf

2. Ibid.