150B-21.4. Fiscal and regulatory impact analysis on rules.

(a) State Funds. - Before an agency publishes in the North Carolina Register the proposed text of a permanent rule change that would require the expenditure or distribution of funds subject to the State Budget Act, Chapter 143C of the General Statutes, it must submit the text of the proposed rule change, an analysis of the proposed rule change, and a fiscal note on the proposed rule change to the Office of State Budget and Management and obtain certification from the Office of State Budget and Management that the funds that would be required by the proposed rule change are available. The fiscal note must state the amount of funds that would be expended or distributed as a result of the proposed rule change and explain how the amount was computed. The Office of State Budget and Management must certify a proposed rule change if funds are available to cover the expenditure or distribution required by the proposed rule change.

(a1) DOT Analyses. - In addition to the requirements of subsection (a) of this section, any agency that adopts a rule affecting environmental permitting of Department of Transportation projects shall conduct an analysis to determine if the rule will result in an increased cost to the Department of Transportation. The analysis shall be conducted and submitted to the Board of Transportation when the agency submits the notice of text for publication. The agency shall consider any recommendations offered by the Board of Transportation prior to adopting the rule. Once a rule subject to this subsection is adopted, the Board of Transportation may submit any objection to the rule it may have to the Rules Review Commission. If the Rules Review Commission receives an objection to a rule from the Board of Transportation no later than 5:00 P.M. of the day following the day the Commission approves the rule, then the rule shall only become effective as provided in G.S. 150B-21.3(b1).

(b) Local Funds. - Before an agency publishes in the North Carolina Register the proposed text of a permanent rule change that would affect the expenditures or revenues of a unit of local government, it must submit the text of the proposed rule change and a fiscal note on the proposed rule change to the Office of State Budget and Management as provided by G.S. 150B-21.26, the Fiscal Research Division of the General Assembly, the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, and the North Carolina League of Municipalities. The fiscal note must state the amount by which the proposed rule change would increase or decrease expenditures or revenues of a unit of local government and must explain how the amount was computed.

(b1) Substantial Economic Impact. - Before an agency publishes in the North Carolina Register the proposed text of a permanent rule change that would have a substantial economic impact and that is not identical to a federal regulation that the agency is required to adopt, the agency shall prepare a fiscal note for the proposed rule change and have the note approved by the Office of State Budget and Management. The agency must also obtain from the Office a certification that the agency adhered to the regulatory principles set forth in G.S. 150B-19.1(a)(2), (5), and (6). The agency may request the Office of State Budget and Management to prepare the fiscal note only after, working with the Office, it has exhausted all resources, internal and external, to otherwise prepare the required fiscal note. If an agency requests the Office of State Budget and Management to prepare a fiscal note for a proposed rule change, that Office must prepare the note within 90 days after receiving a written request for the note. If the Office of State Budget and Management fails to prepare a fiscal note within this time period, the agency proposing the rule change shall prepare a fiscal note. A fiscal note prepared in this circumstance does not require approval of the Office of State Budget and Management.

If an agency prepares the required fiscal note, the agency must submit the note to the Office of State Budget and Management for review. The Office of State Budget and Management shall review the fiscal note within 14 days after it is submitted and either approve the note or inform the agency in writing of the reasons why it does not approve the fiscal note. After addressing these reasons, the agency may submit the revised fiscal note to that Office for its review. If an agency is not sure whether a proposed rule change would have a substantial economic impact, the agency shall ask the Office of State Budget and Management to determine whether the proposed rule change has a substantial economic impact. Failure to prepare or obtain approval of the fiscal note as required by this subsection shall be a basis for objection to the rule under G.S. 150B-21.9(a)(4).

As used in this subsection, the term "substantial economic impact" means an aggregate financial impact on all persons affected of at least one million dollars ($1,000,000) in a 12-month period. In analyzing substantial economic impact, an agency shall do the following:

(1) Determine and identify the appropriate time frame of the analysis.

(2) Assess the baseline conditions against which the proposed rule is to be measured.

(3) Describe the persons who would be subject to the proposed rule and the type of expenditures these persons would be required to make.

(4) Estimate any additional costs that would be created by implementation of the proposed rule by measuring the incremental difference between the baseline and the future condition expected after implementation of the rule. The analysis should include direct costs as well as opportunity costs. Cost estimates must be monetized to the greatest extent possible. Where costs are not monetized, they must be listed and described.

(5) For costs that occur in the future, the agency shall determine the net present value of the costs by using a discount factor of seven percent (7%).

(b2) Content. - A fiscal note required by subsection (b1) of this section must contain the following:

(1) A description of the persons who would be affected by the proposed rule change.

(2) A description of the types of expenditures that persons affected by the proposed rule change would have to make to comply with the rule and an estimate of these expenditures.

(3) A description of the purpose and benefits of the proposed rule change.

(4) An explanation of how the estimate of expenditures was computed.

(5) A description of at least two alternatives to the proposed rule that were considered by the agency and the reason the alternatives were rejected. The alternatives may have been identified by the agency or by members of the public.

(c) Errors. - An erroneous fiscal note prepared in good faith does not affect the validity of a rule.

(d) If an agency proposes the repeal of an existing rule, the agency is not required to prepare a fiscal note on the proposed rule change as provided by this section. (1973, c. 1331, s. 1; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1137, s. 41.1; 1983, c. 761, s. 185; 1985, c. 746, s. 1; 1987, c. 827, s. 54; 1991, c. 418, s. 1; 1995, c. 415, s. 2; c. 507, s. 27.8(b); 2000-140, s. 93.1(a); 2001-424, s. 12.2(b); 2003-229, s. 6; 2005-276, s. 28.8(a); 2006-203, s. 124; 2011-398, s. 6; 2012-187, s. 4; 2013-149, s. 1; 2013-413, s. 2; 2014-115, s. 17; 2014-120, s. 6(b).)