Article 5.

Revenue Bonds.

§ 159-80.  Short title; repeal of local acts.

(a)        This Article may be cited as "The State and Local Government Revenue Bond Act."

(b)        It is the intent of the General Assembly by enactment of this Article to prescribe a uniform system of limitations upon and procedures for the exercise by all municipalities in North Carolina of the power to finance revenue bond projects through the issuance of revenue bonds and notes. To this end, all provisions of special, local, or private acts in effect as of July 1, 1973, authorizing the issuance of bonds or notes secured solely by the revenues of the projects for which the bonds or notes are issued or prescribing procedures therefor are repealed. No special, local or private act enacted or taking effect after July 1, 1973, may be construed to modify, amend, or repeal any portion of this Article unless it expressly so provides by specific reference to the appropriate section of this Article. It is further the intent of the General Assembly by enactment of this Article to provide an alternative and supplemental procedure for the exercise by the State of North Carolina of the power to finance revenue bond projects through the issuance of revenue bonds and notes. (1971, c. 780, s. 1; 1973, c. 494, s. 14; 1983, c. 554, ss. 1, 1.1.)

 

§ 159-81.  Definitions.

The words and phrases defined in this section shall have the meanings indicated when used in this Article:

(1)        "Municipality" means a county, city, town, incorporated village, sanitary district, metropolitan sewerage district, metropolitan water district, metropolitan water and sewerage district, county water and sewer district, water and sewer authority, hospital authority, hospital district, parking authority, special airport district, special district created under Article 43 of Chapter 105 of the General Statutes, regional public transportation authority, regional transportation authority, regional natural gas district, regional sports authority, airport authority, joint agency created pursuant to Part 1 of Article 20 of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes, a joint agency authorized by agreement between two cities to operate an airport pursuant to G.S. 63-56, the North Carolina Turnpike Authority described in Article 6H of Chapter 136 of the General Statutes and transferred to the Department of Transportation pursuant to G.S. 136-89.182(b), and a Ferry Transportation Authority created pursuant to Article 29 of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes, but not any other forms of State or local government.

(2)        "Revenue bond" means a bond issued by the State of North Carolina or a municipality pursuant to this Article.

(3)        "Revenue bond project" means any undertaking for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, improvement, enlargement, betterment, or extension of any one or combination of the revenue-producing utility or public service enterprise facilities or systems listed in this subdivision, to be financed through the issuance of revenue bonds, thereby providing funds to pay the costs of the undertaking or to reimburse funds loaned or advanced by or on the behalf of either the State or a municipality to pay the costs of the undertaking.

A revenue bond project shall be (i) owned or leased as lessee by the issuing unit or (ii) owned by one or more of the municipalities participating in an undertaking established pursuant to Part 1 of Article 20 of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes. If the revenue bond project is owned by one or more municipalities as provided in (ii) of this subdivision, any one or more of the participating municipalities may each be an issuing unit consistent with their agreement to establish a joint undertaking. In addition, any joint agency established by participating municipalities pursuant to Part 1 of Article 20 of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes may be an issuing unit without owning the revenue bond project or leasing it as lessee.

The cost of an undertaking may include all property, both real and personal and improved and unimproved, plants, works, appurtenances, machinery, equipment, easements, water rights, air rights, franchises, and licenses used or useful in connection with the undertaking; the cost of demolishing or moving structures from land acquired and the cost of acquiring any lands to which the structures are to be moved; financing charges; the cost of plans, specifications, surveys, and estimates of cost and revenues; administrative and legal expenses; and any other expense necessary or incident to the project.

The following facilities or systems may be revenue bond projects under this subdivision:

a.         Water systems or facilities, including all plants, works, instrumentalities and properties used or useful in obtaining, conserving, treating, and distributing water for domestic or industrial use, irrigation, sanitation, fire protection, or any other public or private use.

b.         Sewage disposal systems or facilities, including all plants, works, instrumentalities, and properties used or useful in the collection, treatment, purification, or disposal of sewage.

c.         Systems or facilities for the generation, production, transmission, or distribution of gas (natural, artificial, or mixed) or electric energy for lighting, heating, or power for public and private uses, where gas systems shall include the purchase and/or lease of natural gas fields and natural gas reserves and the purchase of natural gas supplies, and where any parts of such gas systems may be located either within the State or without.

d.         Systems, facilities and equipment for the collection, treatment, or disposal of solid waste.

e.         Public transportation systems, facilities, or equipment, including but not limited to bus, truck, ferry, and railroad terminals, depots, trackages, vehicles, and ferries, and mass transit systems.

f.          Public parking lots, areas, garages, and other vehicular parking structures and facilities.

g.         Aeronautical facilities, including but not limited to airports, terminals, and hangars.

h.         Marine facilities, including but not limited to marinas, basins, docks, dry docks, piers, marine railways, wharves, harbors, warehouses, and terminals.

i.          Hospitals and other health-related facilities.

j.          Public auditoriums, gymnasiums, stadiums, and convention centers.

k.         Recreational facilities.

l.          Repealed by Session Laws 2001-474, s. 36, effective November 29, 2001.

m.        Economic development projects, including the acquisition and development of industrial parks, the acquisition and resale of land suitable for industrial or commercial purposes, and the construction and lease or sale of shell buildings in order to provide employment opportunities for citizens of the municipality.

n.         Facilities for the use of any agency or agencies of the government of the United States of America.

o.         Structural and natural stormwater and drainage systems of all types.

p.         In the case of the North Carolina Turnpike Authority, a Turnpike Project, as defined in G.S. 136-89.181, including the planning and design of a Turnpike Project, that is designated by the Authority to be a revenue bond project.

q.         Cable television systems.

(4)        "Revenues" include all moneys received by the State or a municipality from, in connection with, or as a result of its ownership or operation of a revenue bond project or a utility or public service enterprise facility or system of which a revenue bond project is a part, including (to the extent deemed advisable by the State or a municipality) moneys received from the United States of America, the State of North Carolina, or any agency of either, pursuant to an agreement with the State or a municipality, as the case may be, pertaining to the project.  (Ex. Sess. 1938, c. 2, s. 2; 1939, c. 295; 1941, c. 207, s. 2; 1951, c. 703, s. 1; 1953, c. 901, ss. 4, 5; c. 922, s. 1; 1965, c. 997; 1969, c. 1118, s. 1; 1971, c. 780, s. 1; 1973, c. 494, s. 15; 1975, c. 821, s. 2; 1977, c. 466, s. 3; 1979, c. 727, s. 4; c. 791; 1983, c. 554, ss. 2-2.2; 1985, c. 639, s. 3; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 976, s. 1; 1989, c. 168, ss. 37, 38; c. 643, s. 4; c. 740, s. 2; c. 780, s. 2; 1991, c. 508, s. 1; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 644, s. 3; 1997-393, s. 3; 1997-426, s. 6; 2001-414, s. 48; 2001-474, ss. 36, 37; 2002-133, ss. 6, 7; 2009-527, s. 2(e); 2010-165, s. 14; 2011-84, s. 4; 2013-50, s. 5; 2017-120, s. 3.)

 

§ 159-82.  Purpose.

The purpose of this Article is to establish a standard, uniform procedure for the financing by a municipality of revenue bond projects through the issuance of revenue bonds. Its provisions are intended to vest authority in and enable municipalities to secure and pay revenue bonds and the interest thereon solely out of revenues without pledging the faith and credit of the municipality. (1971, c. 780, s. 1; 1973, c. 494, s. 16.)

 

§ 159-83.  Powers.

(a)        In addition to the powers they may now or hereafter have, the State and each municipality shall have the following powers, subject to the provisions of this Article and of any revenue bond order or trust agreement securing revenue bonds:

(1)        To acquire by gift, purchase, or exercise of the power of eminent domain or to construct, reconstruct, improve, maintain, better, extend, and operate, one or more revenue bond projects or any portion thereof without regard to location within or without its boundaries, upon determination (i) in the case of the State, by the Council of State and (ii) in the case of a municipality, by resolution of the governing board that a location wholly or partially outside its boundaries is necessary and in the public interest. The authority to exercise the power of eminent domain granted in this subdivision shall not apply to economic development projects described in G.S. 159-81(3)m., unless revenue bonds for the economic development project were approved by the Local Government Commission pursuant to G.S. 159-87 prior to August 15, 2006.

(2)        To sell, exchange, transfer, assign or otherwise dispose of any revenue bond project or portion thereof or interest therein determined (i) in the case of the State, by the Council of State and (ii) in the case of a municipality, by resolution of the governing board not to be required for any public purpose.

(3)        To sell, furnish, and distribute the services, facilities, or commodities of revenue bond projects.

(4)        To enter into contracts with any person, firm, or corporation, public or private, on such terms (i) in the case of the State, as the Council of State and (ii) in the case of a municipality, as the governing board may determine, with respect to the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, extension, betterment, improvement, maintenance, or operation of revenue bond projects, or the sale, furnishing, or distribution of the services, facilities or commodities thereof.

(5)        To borrow money for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, reconstructing, extending, bettering, improving, or otherwise paying the cost of revenue bond projects, to issue its revenue bonds or bond anticipation notes therefor, in the name of the State or a municipality, as the case may be, and to pledge, mortgage, or grant a security interest in all or a portion of the real and personal property, whether owned or leased, comprising any revenue-producing utility or public service enterprise facilities or systems acquired, constructed, reconstructed, extended, bettered, or improved with the proceeds of the borrowing. Property subject to a mortgage, deed of trust, security interest, or similar lien pursuant to this subdivision may be sold at foreclosure in any manner permitted by the instrument creating the encumbrance, without compliance with any other provision of law regarding the disposition of publicly owned property. The granting of a lien on, or security interest in, hospital or health-related real or tangible personal property and the conveyance of this property pursuant to the provisions of the lien or security interest are not subject to the provisions of G.S. 131E-8, 131E-13, or 131E-14.

(6)        To establish, maintain, revise, charge, and collect such rates, fees, rentals, tolls, or other charges, free of any control or regulation by the North Carolina Utilities Commission or any other regulatory body except as provided in G.S. 159-95 for the use, services, facilities, and commodities of or furnished by any revenue bond project, and to provide methods of collection of and penalties for nonpayment of such rates, fees, rentals, tolls, or other charges. The rates, fees, rentals, tolls and charges so fixed and charged shall be such as will produce revenues at least sufficient with any other available funds to meet the expense and maintenance and operation of and renewals and replacements to the revenue bond project, including reserves therefor, to pay when due the principal, interest, and redemption premiums (if any) on all revenue bonds or bond anticipation notes secured thereby, and to fulfill the terms of any agreements made by the State or the issuing municipality with the holders of revenue bonds issued to finance all or any portion of the cost of the project.

(7)        To pledge all or part of any proceeds derived from the use of on-street parking meters to the payment of the cost of operating, maintaining, and improving parking facilities whether on-street or off-street, and the principal of and the interest on revenue bonds or bond anticipation notes issued for on-street or off-street parking facilities.

(8)        To pledge to the payment of its revenue bonds or bond anticipation notes and interest thereon revenues from one or more revenue bond projects and any leases or agreements to secure such payment, including revenues from improvements, betterments, or extensions to such projects thereafter constructed or acquired as well as the revenues from existing systems, plants, works, instrumentalities, and properties of the projects to be improved, bettered, or extended.

(8a)      In the case of any county, city, town, or incorporated village, to make loans or advances to a municipality to provide funds to the municipality to pay any costs of any revenue bond project. Funds received by a municipality in reimbursement of a loan or advance shall be distributed and restricted as provided in G.S. 159-27.1.

(9)        To appropriate, apply, or expend for the following purposes the proceeds of its revenue bonds, notes issued in anticipation thereof, and revenues pledged under any resolution or order authorizing or securing the bonds: (i) to pay interest on the bonds or notes and the principal or redemption price thereof when due; (ii) to meet reserves and other requirements set forth in the bond order or trust agreement; (iii) to pay the costs of the revenue bond projects authorized in the bond order, reimburse funds loaned or advanced for the costs of these revenue bond projects in accordance with the bond order, and provide working capital for initial maintenance and operation until funds are available from revenues; (iv) to pay and discharge revenue bonds and notes issued in anticipation thereof; (v) to pay and discharge general obligation bonds issued under Article 4 of this Chapter or under any act of the General Assembly, when the revenues of the project financed in whole or in part by the general obligation bonds will be pledged to the payment of the revenue bonds or notes.

(10)      To make and enforce rules and regulations governing the use, maintenance, and operation of revenue bond projects.

(11)      To accept gifts or grants of real or personal property, money, material, labor, or supplies for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, extension, improvement, betterment, maintenance, or operation of any revenue bond project and to make and perform such agreements or contracts as may be necessary or convenient in connection with the procuring or acceptance of such gifts or grants.

(12)      To accept loans, grants, or contributions from, and to enter into contracts and cooperate with the United States of America, the State of North Carolina, or any agency thereof, with respect to any revenue bond project.

(13)      To enter on any lands, waters, and premises for the purpose of making surveys, borings, soundings, examinations, and other preliminary studies for constructing and operating any revenue bond project.

(14)      To retain and employ consultants and other persons on a contract basis for rendering professional, financial, or technical assistance and advice and to select and retain subject to approval of the Local Government Commission the financial consultants, underwriters and bond attorneys to be associated with the issuance of any bonds and to pay for services rendered by underwriters, financial consultants or bond attorneys out of the proceeds of any such issue with regard to which the services were performed.

(15)      Subject to any provisions of law requiring voter approval for the sale or lease of utility or enterprise systems, to lease to or from any person, firm, or corporation, public or private, all or part of any revenue bond project, upon such terms and conditions as and for such term of years, not in excess of 40 years, (i) in the case of the State, as the Council of State and (ii) in the case of a municipality, as the governing board may deem advisable to carry out the provisions of this Article, and to provide in such lease for the extension or renewal thereof and, if deemed advisable, for an option to purchase or otherwise lawfully acquire the project upon terms and conditions therein specified.

(16)      To execute such instruments and agreements and to do all things necessary or therein in the exercise of the powers herein granted, or in the performance of the covenants or duties of the State or a municipality, as the case may be, or to secure the payment of its revenue bonds.

(b)        Any contract, agreement, lease, deed, covenant, or other instrument or document evidencing an agreement or covenant between bondholders or any public agency and the State or a municipality issuing revenue bonds with respect to any of the powers conferred in this section shall be approved by the commission.

(c)        In addition to the powers they may now or hereafter have, the State and each municipality shall have the following powers, notwithstanding any provisions of this Article to the contrary, in connection with the development of new and existing seaports and airports:

(1)        To acquire, construct, own, own jointly with public and private parties, lease as lessee, mortgage, sell, lease as lessor, or otherwise dispose of lands and facilities and improvements, including undivided interests therein;

(2)        To finance and refinance for public and private parties seaport and airport facilities and improvements that relate to, develop, or further waterborne or airborne commerce and cargo and passenger traffic, including commercial, industrial, manufacturing, processing, mining, transportation, distribution, storage, marine, aviation, and environmental facilities and improvements;

(3)        To secure any such financing or refinancing by all or any portion of its revenues, income or assets or other available moneys associated with any of its seaport or airport facilities and with the facilities and improvements to be financed or refinanced, and by foreclosable liens on all or any part of its properties associated with any of its seaport or airport facilities and with the facilities and improvements to be financed or refinanced, but in no event to create a debt secured by a pledge of its faith and credit.

(d)       In addition to the powers they may now or hereafter have, the State and each municipality shall have the following powers, notwithstanding any provisions of this Article or any other statute to the contrary, in connection with the development of facilities for the use of any agency or agencies of the government of the United States of America:

(1)        To acquire, construct, own jointly with public and private parties, lease as leasor or leasee, mortgage, sell, or otherwise dispose of lands, facilities and improvements, including undivided interests therein and to do so, regardless of the provisions of any other statute, on such terms (i) in the case of the State, as the Council of State and (ii) in the case of a municipality, as the governing board may deem advisable to carry out the provisions of this subsection;

(2)        To finance and refinance facilities and related improvements for the use of any agency of the government of the United States of America;

(3)        To secure any such financing or refinancing by all or any portion of the revenue, income or assets or other available monies associated with such facilities and improvements to be financed or refinanced, and by foreclosable liens on all or any part of the facilities and improvements to be financed or refinanced, but in no event to create a debt secured by a pledge of its faith and credit.

(e)        Repealed by Session Laws 2001-174, s. 39, effective November 29, 2001.

(f)        In addition to the powers they may now or hereafter have, each municipality has the power to finance and refinance the cost of water treatment facilities and related transmission mains, and their expansion and improvement, all or some portion of which may be located on land leased from an authority created under the provisions of G.S. 162A-3.1, for a term not less than the term of the obligations issued or otherwise incurred for the purpose. The authority may own or operate (or both) such facilities and mains and may contract with one or more of the political subdivisions that are members of the authority for operation of all or portions thereof. For this purpose, each municipality has, in addition to the powers it has under applicable law, all the powers under G.S. 162A-6(b) of an authority created under G.S. 162A-3.1, and the political subdivisions that are members of the authority and that contract with such municipality for a supply of water and a portion of the capacity of the water treatment facilities and mains shall have all the powers of political subdivisions under G.S. 162A-6(b) and G.S. 162A-16 contracting with an authority created under G.S. 162A-3.1. This provision is supplemental to the other provisions of this Article. (Ex. Sess., 1938, c. 2, s. 3; 1951, c. 703, ss. 2, 3; 1953, c. 922, s. 2; 1969, c. 1118, s. 2; 1971, c. 780, s. 1; 1973, c. 494, s. 17; 1983, c. 554, ss. 3-4; 1985, c. 723, s. 2; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 795, s. 1; c. 933, s. 4; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 976, s. 2; 1989, c. 168, ss. 39, 40; 1991, c. 508, s. 2; 2001-474, ss. 38, 39; 2005-238, s. 4; 2005-249, s. 1; 2006-224, s. 3; 2006-259, s. 47.)

 

§ 159-84.  Authorization of revenue bonds.

The State and each municipality is hereby authorized to issue its revenue bonds in such principal amount as may be necessary to provide sufficient moneys for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, extension, betterment, improvement, or payment of the cost of one or more revenue bond projects, including engineering, inspection, legal and financial fees and costs, working capital, interest on the bonds or notes issued in anticipation thereof during construction and, if deemed advisable by the State or a municipality,  as the case may be, for a period not exceeding two years after the estimated date of completion of construction, establishment of debt service reserves, and all other expenditures of the State or the municipality, as the case may be, incidental and necessary or convenient thereto.

Subject to agreements with the holders of its revenue bonds, the State or each municipality, as the case may be, may issue further revenue bonds and refund outstanding revenue bonds whether or not they have matured. Revenue bonds may be issued partly for the purpose of refunding outstanding revenue bonds and partly for any other purpose under this Article. Revenue bonds issued to refund outstanding revenue bonds shall be issued under this Article and not Article 4 of this Chapter or any other law.

Refunding bonds may be issued at any time prior to the final maturity of the debt or obligation to be refunded. The proceeds from the sale of any refunding bonds shall be applied only as follows: either, (i) to the immediate payment and retirement of the obligations being refunded or (ii) if not required for the immediate payment of the obligations being refunded such proceeds shall be deposited in trust to provide for the payment and retirement of the obligations being refunded, and to pay any expenses incurred in connection with such refunding, but provision may be made for the pledging and disposition of any amounts in excess of the amounts required for such purposes, including, without limitation, provision for the pledging of any such excess to the payment of the principal of and interest on any issue or series or [of] refunding bonds issued pursuant to G.S. 159-78. Money in any such trust fund may be invested in (i) direct obligations of the United States government, or (ii) obligations the principal of and interest on which are guaranteed by the United States government, or (iii) to the extent then permitted by law in obligations of any agency or instrumentality of the United States government, (iv) certificates of deposit issued by a bank or trust company located in the State of North Carolina if such certificates shall be secured by a pledge of any of said obligations described in (i), (ii), or (iii) above having any aggregate market value, exclusive of accrued interest, equal at least to the principal amount of the certificates so secured. Nothing herein shall be construed as a limitation on the duration of any deposit in trust for the retirement of obligations being refunded but which shall not have matured and which shall not be presently redeemable or, if presently redeemable, shall not have been called for redemption.

The principal amount of refunding bonds issued pursuant to this section, together with the principal amount of refunding bonds, if any, issued under G.S. 159-78 in conjunction with refunding bonds issued pursuant to this section, shall not exceed the amount set forth in G.S. 159-78. (1953, c. 692; 1969, c. 1118, s. 4; 1971, c. 780, s. 1; 1977, c. 201, s. 3; 1983, c. 554, s. 5.)

 

§ 159-85.  Application to Commission for approval of revenue bond issue; preliminary conference; acceptance of application.

(a)        Neither the State nor a municipality may issue revenue bonds under this Article unless the issue is approved by the Commission. The State Treasurer or the governing board of the issuing municipality or its duly authorized agent, as the case may be, shall file an application for Commission approval of the issue with the secretary of the Commission. If the issuing municipality is a regional public transportation authority, the application must be accompanied by a resolution of the special tax board of that authority approving of the application. The application shall state such facts and have attached to it such documents concerning the proposed revenue bonds and the financial condition of the State or the issuing municipality, as the case may be, and its utilities and enterprises as the secretary may require. The Commission may prescribe the form of the application.

(b)        Before he accepts the application, the secretary may require (i) in the case of the State, the State Treasurer or (ii) in the case of a municipality, the governing board or its representatives to attend a preliminary conference at which time the secretary and his deputies may informally discuss the proposed issue and the timing of the steps taken in issuing the bonds.

(c)        After an application in proper form and order has been filed, and after a preliminary conference if one is required, the secretary shall notify the State Treasurer or the municipality, as the case may be, in writing that the application has been filed and accepted for submission to the Commission. The secretary's statement shall be conclusive evidence that the State or the municipality, as the case may be, has complied with this section.

(d)       Repealed by Session Laws 2001-474, s. 39. (Ex. Sess. 1938, c. 2, s. 9; 1949, c. 1081; 1967, c. 555; 1969, c. 688, s. 2; 1971, c. 780, s. 1; 1973, c. 494, s. 18; 1983, c. 554, s. 6; 1989, c. 168, s. 41; c. 740, s. 6; 2001-474, s. 39.)

 

§ 159-86.  Approval of application by Commission.

(a)        In determining whether a proposed revenue bond issue shall be approved, the Commission may consider:

(1)        Whether the project to be financed from the proceeds of the revenue bond issue is necessary or expedient.

(2)        Whether the proposed project is feasible.

(3)        The State's or the municipality's, as the case may be, debt management procedures and policies.

(4)        Whether the State or the municipality, as the case may be, is in default in any of its debt service obligations.

(5)        Whether the probable net revenues of the project to be financed will be sufficient to service the proposed revenue bonds.

(6)        The ability of the Commission to market the proposed revenue bonds at reasonable rates of interest.

The Commission may inquire into and give consideration to any other matters that it may believe to have a bearing on whether the issue should be approved.

(b)        The Commission shall approve the application if, upon the information and evidence it receives, it finds and determines:

(1)        That the proposed revenue bond issue is necessary or expedient.

(2)        That the amount proposed is adequate and not excessive for the proposed purpose of the issue.

(3)        That the proposed project is feasible.

(4)        That the State's or the municipality's, as the case may be, debt management procedures and policies are good, or that reasonable assurances have been given that its debt will henceforth be managed in strict compliance with law.

(5)        That the proposed revenue bonds can be marketed at reasonable interest cost to the State or the municipality, as the case may be. (1971, c. 780, s. 1; 1983, c. 554, ss. 7, 8.)

 

§ 159-87.  Order approving or denying the application.

(a)        After considering an application the Commission shall enter its order either approving or denying the application. An order approving an issue shall not be regarded as an approval of the legality of the bonds in any respect.

(b)        If the Commission enters an order denying the application, the  proceedings under this Article shall be at an end. (1971, c. 780, s. 1.)

 

§ 159-88.  Adoption of revenue bond order.

(a)       At any time after an application is filed with the Commission for the issuance of revenue bonds, (i) in the case of the State, the Council of State and (ii) in the case of a municipality, the governing board of the municipality may adopt a revenue bond order pursuant to this Article.

(b)       Notwithstanding the provisions of any city charter, general law, or local act, a revenue bond order may be introduced at any regular or special meeting of the governing board of a municipality and adopted at such a meeting by a simple majority of those present and voting, a quorum being present, and need not be published or subjected to any procedural requirements governing the adoption of ordinances or resolutions by the governing board other than the procedures set out in this Article. Revenue bond orders are not subject to the provisions of any city charter or legal act concerning initiative or referendum.

(c)       Notwithstanding any other provision of this Article, no bond order authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds of the State shall be adopted by the Council of State until such time as the General Assembly shall have enacted legislation authorizing the undertaking of the revenue bond project to be financed and fixing the maximum aggregate principal amount of revenue bonds that shall be issued for such purpose, and such legislation shall have taken effect.

(d)       Repealed by Session Laws 2001-474, s. 39, effective November 29, 2001.  (1971, c. 780, s. 1; 1973, c. 494, s. 19; 1983, c. 554, s. 9; 1989, c. 168, s. 42; 2001-474, s. 39; 2012-156, s. 3.)

 

§ 159-89.  Special covenants.

A revenue bond order or a trust agreement securing revenue bonds may be between the State or the issuing municipality and a bank or trust company located within or without the State of North Carolina, and may contain covenants as to any of the following:

(1)        The pledge of all or any part of revenues received or to be received from the undertaking to be financed by the bonds, or the utility or enterprise of which the undertaking is to become a part.

(2)        Rates, fees, rentals, tolls or other charges to be established, maintained, and collected, and the use and disposal of revenues, gifts, grants, and funds received or to be received.

(3)        The setting aside of debt service reserves and the regulation and disposition thereof.

(4)        The custody, collection, securing, investment, and payment of any moneys held for the payment of revenue bonds.

(5)        Limitations or restrictions on the purposes to which the proceeds of sale of revenue bonds then or thereafter to be issued may be applied.

(6)        Limitations or restrictions on the issuance of additional revenue bonds or notes; the terms upon which additional revenue bonds or notes may be issued and secured; or the refunding of outstanding or other revenue bonds.

(7)        The procedure, if any, by which the terms of any contract with bondholders may be amended or abrogated, the percentage of revenue bonds the bondholders of which must consent thereto, and the manner in which such consent may be given.

(8)        Events of default and the rights and liabilities arising thereupon, the terms and conditions upon which revenue bonds issued under this Article shall become or may be declared due before maturity, and the terms and conditions upon which such declaration and its consequences may be waived.

(9)        The preparation and maintenance of a budget with respect to the expenses of the State or a municipality, as the case may be, for the operation and maintenance of revenue bond projects.

(10)      The retention or employment of consulting engineers, independent auditors, and other technical consultants in connection with revenue bond projects.

(11)      Limitations on or the prohibition of free service by revenue bond projects to any person, firm, or corporation, public or private.

(12)      The acquisition and disposal of property for revenue bond projects.

(13)      Provisions for insurance and for accounting reports and the inspection and audit thereof.

(14)      The continuing operation and maintenance of the revenue bond project or the utility or enterprise of which it is to become a part. (Ex. Sess. 1938, c. 2, s. 6; 1971, c. 780, s. 1; 1983, c. 554, s. 10; 2003-388, s. 1.)

 

§ 159-90.  Limitations on details of bonds; additional provisions.

(a)        In fixing the details of revenue bonds, the State or the issuing municipality, as the case may be, shall be subject to the following restrictions and directions:

(1)        The maturity dates may not exceed the maximum maturity periods prescribed by the Commission for general obligation bonds pursuant to G.S. 159-122.  For bonds issued in reimbursement of a loan or advance, the maximum maturity period to be used in determining the maturity dates of the bonds shall be the maximum permissible period prescribed by the Commission for the original project for which the loan or advance was expended, calculated from the date the original project is completed.

(2)        Any bond may be made subject to redemption prior to maturity, including redemption on demand of the holder, with or without premium, on such notice and at such time or times and with such redemption provisions as may be stated. When any such bond shall have been validly called for redemption and provision shall have been made for the payment of the principal thereof, any redemption premium, and the interest thereon accrued to the date of redemption, interest thereon shall cease.

(3)        The bonds may bear interest at such rate or rates, payable semiannually or otherwise, may be in such denominations, and may be payable in such kind of money and in such place or places within or without the State of North Carolina, as the State Treasurer or the issuing municipality, as the case may be, may determine.

(b)        In addition to the foregoing provisions of this section, in fixing the details of revenue bonds the State or the issuing municipality, as the case may be, may provide that bonds

(1)        May be made payable from time to time on demand or tender for purchase by the owner provided a Credit Facility supports such bonds, unless the Commission specifically determines that a Credit Facility is not required upon a finding and determination by the Commission that the proposed bonds will satisfy the conditions set forth in G.S. 159-86(b);

(2)        May be additionally supported by a Credit Facility;

(3)        May be made subject to redemption prior to maturity, with or without premium, on such notice and at such time or times and with such redemption provisions as may be stated in the bond order or trust agreement or with such variations as may be permitted in connection with a Par Formula provided in such bond order or trust agreement;

(4)        May bear interest, notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 159-125(a), at a rate or rates that may vary as permitted pursuant to a Par Formula and for such period or periods of time, all as may be provided in the bond order or trust agreement; and

(5)        May be made the subject of a remarketing agreement whereby an attempt is made to remarket the bonds to new purchasers prior to their presentment for payment to the provider of the Credit Facility or to the issuing municipality or the State.

No Credit Facility, repayment agreement, Par Formula or remarketing agreement shall become effective without the approval of the Commission.

As used in this subsection, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

"Credit Facility" means an agreement entered into by an issuing municipality or by the State Treasurer on behalf of the State with a bank, savings and loan association or other banking institution, an insurance company, reinsurance company, surety company or other insurance institution, a corporation, investment banker or other investment institution, or any financial institution providing for prompt payment of all or any part of the principal (whether at maturity, presentment for purchase, redemption or acceleration), redemption premium, if any, and interest on any bonds payable on demand or tender by the owner issued in accordance with this section, in consideration of the issuing municipality or the State agreeing to repay the provider of such Credit Facility in accordance with the terms and provisions of such repayment agreement, provided, that any such repayment agreement shall provide that the obligation of the issuing municipality or the State thereunder shall have only such sources of payment as are permitted for the payment of bonds issued under this Article.

"Par Formula" shall mean any provision or formula adopted by the issuing municipality or the State to provide for the adjustment, from time to time, of the interest rate or rates borne by any such bonds so that the purchase price of such bonds in the open market would be as close to par as possible. (Ex. Sess. 1938, c. 2, s. 5; 1949, c. 1081; 1967, c. 100, s. 1; c. 711, s. 2; 1969, c. 688, s. 1; 1971, c. 780, s. 1; 1983, c. 554, s. 11; 1985, c. 265, s. 1; 1991, c. 508, s. 4.)

 

§ 159-91.  Lien of revenue bonds.

(a)        All revenue bonds issued under this Article shall be equally and ratably secured by a pledge, charge, and lien upon revenues provided for in the bond order, without priority by reason of number, or of dates of bonds, execution or delivery, in accordance with the provisions of this Article and of the bond order; except that the State or a municipality may provide in a revenue bond order that revenue bonds issued pursuant thereto shall to the extent and in the manner prescribed in the order or agreement be subordinated and junior in standing, with respect to the payment of principal and interest and the security thereof, to any other revenue bonds.

(b)        Any pledge made by the State or a municipality pursuant to this Article shall be valid and binding from the date of final passage of the bond order upon the issuance of any bonds or bond anticipation notes thereunder. The revenues, securities, and other moneys so pledged and then held or thereafter received by the State or a municipality, as the case may be, or any fiduciary shall immediately be subject to the lien of the pledge without any physical delivery thereof or further act, and the lien of the pledge shall be valid and binding as against all parties having claims of any kind in tort, contract, or otherwise against the State or a municipality, as the case may be, without regard to whether such parties have notice thereof. The bond order by which a pledge is created need not be filed or recorded in any manner other than as provided in this Chapter. (1971, c. 780, s. 1; 1983, c. 554, s. 12.)

 

§ 159-92.  Status of revenue bonds under Uniform Commercial Code.

Whether or not the revenue bonds and interest coupons appertaining thereto are of such form and character as to be investment securities under Article 8 of the Uniform Commercial Code as enacted in this State, all revenue bonds represented by instruments and interest coupons appertaining thereto issued under this Article are hereby made investment securities within the meaning of and for all the purposes of Article 8 of the Uniform Commercial Code as enacted in this State, subject only to the provisions of the bonds pertaining to registration. (1971, c. 780, s. 1; 1983, c. 322, s. 3.)

 

§ 159-93.  Agreement of the State.

The State of North Carolina does pledge to and agree with the holders of any revenue bonds or revenue bond anticipation notes heretofore or hereafter issued by the State or any municipality in this State that so long as any such bonds or notes are outstanding and unpaid the State will not limit or alter the rights vested in the State or the municipality at the time of issuance of the bonds or notes to establish, maintain, revise, charge, and collect such rates,  fees, rentals, tolls, and other charges for the use, services, facilities, and commodities of or furnished by the revenue bond project in connection with which the bonds or notes, or bonds or notes refunded by the bonds or notes, were issued as shall produce revenues at least sufficient with other available funds to meet the expense of maintenance and operation of and renewal and replacements to such project, including reserves therefor, to pay when due the principal, interest, and redemption premiums (if any) of the bonds or notes, and to fulfill the terms of any agreements made with the bondholders or noteholders, nor will the State in any way impair the rights and remedies of the bondholders or noteholders until the bonds or notes and all costs and expenses in connection with any action or proceedings by or on behalf of the bondholders or noteholders, are fully paid, met, and discharged. (1971, c. 780, s. 1; 1973, c. 494, s. 20; 1983, c. 554, s. 13.)

 

§ 159-94.  Limited liability.

(a)        Revenue bonds shall be special obligations of the State or the municipality issuing them. The principal of and interest on revenue bonds shall not be payable from the general funds of the State or the municipality, as the case may be, nor shall they constitute a legal or equitable pledge, charge, lien, or encumbrance upon any of its property or upon any of its income, receipts, or revenues, except the funds which are pledged under the bond order authorizing the bonds. Neither the credit nor the taxing power of the State or the municipality, as the case may be, are pledged for the payment of the principal or interest of revenue bonds, and no holder of revenue bonds has the right to compel the exercise of the taxing power by the State or the municipality, as the case may be, or the forfeiture of any of its property in connection with any default thereon. Every revenue bond shall recite in substance that the principal of and interest on the bond is payable solely from the revenues pledged to its payment and that the State or the municipality, as the case may be, is not obligated to pay the principal or interest except from such revenues.

(b)        Repealed by Session Laws 2001-474, s. 39. (Ex. Sess. 1938, c. 2, s. 7; 1953, c. 922, s. 3; 1971, c. 780, s. 1; 1983, c. 554, s. 14; 1989, c. 168, s. 43; 2001-474, s. 39.)

 

§ 159-95.  Approval of State agencies.

The general design and plan of any revenue bond project undertaken for water systems or facilities or sewage disposal systems or facilities shall be subject to the approval of the Commission for Public Health or the State Environmental Management Commission to the same extent that such projects would be if they were not financed by revenue bonds, and the provisions of the revenue bond order shall be consistent with any requirements imposed on the project by the Commission for Public Health or the State Environmental Management Commission. No revenue bond project for the acquisition or construction of systems or facilities for the generation, production, or transmission of gas or electric power may be undertaken by the State or a municipality unless the State or municipality, as the case may be, shall first obtain a certificate of convenience and necessity from the North Carolina Utilities Commission. (Ex. Sess. 1938, c. 2, s. 9; 1949, c. 1081; 1967, c. 555; 1969, c. 688, s. 2; 1971, c. 780, s. 1; 1973, c. 476, s. 128; c. 494, s. 21; c. 1262, s. 23; 1983, c. 554, s. 15; 2007-182, s. 2.)

 

§ 159-96.  Limitation on extraterritorial operation of enterprises financed by revenue bonds.

(a)        Each utility or public service enterprise listed in G.S. 159-81(3), if financed wholly or partially by revenue bonds issued under this Article, shall be owned or operated by the municipality for its own use and for the use of public and private consumers residing within its corporate limits or, in the case of a joint agency or undertaking established pursuant to Part 1 of Article 20 of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes, for the use of the municipalities that established the joint agency or undertaking and for the use of the public and private consumers residing within their corporate limits. A utility or public service enterprise financed wholly or partially by revenue bonds, when operated primarily for the municipality's own use and for users within its corporate limits or, in the case of two or more municipalities participating in a joint agency or undertaking, when operated primarily for the use of the municipalities that established the joint agency or undertaking, may be operated incidentally for users outside the corporate limits of either the issuing unit or a participating municipality. Provided, however, that revenue bonds may be issued for the purpose of financing in whole or in part mass transit systems, aeronautical facilities, marine facilities and systems, systems or facilities for the generation, production, transmission, or distribution of gas (natural, artificial, or mixed), facilities and equipment for the collection, treatment or disposal of solid waste, notwithstanding that such systems, facilities or equipment may be operated for users outside the corporate limits of a municipality that is an issuing unit where the municipality finds that the systems, facilities, or equipment so financed would benefit the municipality or, in the case of two or more municipalities participating in a joint agency or undertaking, where the municipalities that are the issuing units find that the systems, facilities, or equipment so financed would benefit the municipalities that established the joint agency or undertaking.

Revenue bonds may not be issued for the purpose of financing in whole or in part systems or facilities for the transmission or distribution of gas (natural, artificial, or mixed) to users outside the corporate limits of a municipality to whom service is available or will be available within a reasonable time from a local distribution natural gas utility pursuant to a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued by the North Carolina Utilities Commission. A finding by the governing body of a municipality that is an issuing unit that the systems or facilities to be provided by the financing will not provide service to users to whom such service is available or will be available within a reasonable time from a local distribution natural gas utility shall be conclusive upon (i) the expiration of a 45 day period following the making of such finding, (ii) the mailing by the municipality of a copy of such notice within five days after the making of such finding to any local distribution company certificated to provide service to the area in which the facilities are to be located, and (iii) the absence of a written objection to such finding being mailed by any such certificated local distribution company to the municipality by not later than five days prior to the end of such 45 day period, all such mailings to be properly given or made if sent by United States registered mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid. Time shall be computed pursuant to G.S. 1A-1, Rule 6(a).

(b)        A revenue bond project financed wholly or partially by revenue bonds of the State may be located either within or without the State and, when operated primarily for the State's own use and for users within the State, may be operated incidentally for users outside the State.

(c)        Repealed by Session Laws 2001-474, s. 39, effective November 29, 2001.

(d)       Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section and G.S. 160A-312, municipalities may acquire sewage collection and disposal systems and water supply and distribution systems located within and without the corporate limits of such municipalities and finance such acquisition with revenue bonds. Further, municipalities may own, maintain and operate such acquired systems, enlarge and improve such acquired systems and finance the enlargement and improvement of such acquired systems with revenue bonds. This subsection applies only to acquisitions by municipalities financed by revenue bonds during the calendar year ending December 31, 1989.

(e)        In the case of a Turnpike Project of the North Carolina Turnpike Authority, the Turnpike Project may be located anywhere in the State the Authority is authorized to maintain a Turnpike Project. (1971, c. 780, s. 1; 1973, c. 1325; 1983, c. 554, s. 16; c. 795, s. 5; 1989, c. 168, s. 44; c. 263; 1991, c. 511, s. 1; 2001-414, s. 50; 2001-474, s. 39; 2002-133, s. 8.)

 

§ 159-97.  Taxes for supplementing revenue bond projects.

(a)        For the purpose of supplementing the revenues of a revenue bond project, as defined in this section, any county or city may covenant with, or may enter into an agreement with a municipality for the benefit of the holders of revenue bonds of the issuing municipality issued pursuant to this Article, whereby such county or city agrees to:

(1)        Levy for the life of all revenue bonds issued in connection with the revenue bond project an annual property tax not in excess of the rate set forth in the question submitted to voters as hereinafter provided, such levy to be based upon the operating supplement requirement, as defined in this section, or

(2)        Levy for the life of the revenue bonds in respect of which such tax is being levied an annual property tax not in excess of the rate required to pay the principal of and the interest on the aggregate principal amount of revenue bonds set forth in the question submitted to the voters as hereinafter provided, such levy to be based upon the debt service reserve supplement requirement, as defined in this section.

When any such covenant has been made or any such agreement has been entered into, the issuing municipality shall determine, and, in those instances in which the issuing municipality is not also the taxing county or city, the issuing municipality shall certify to the governing board of the taxing county or city, by not later than June 1 of each fiscal year the amount required, determined as hereinafter provided, to be raised by taxation by such county or city in the next fiscal year. The county or city is obligated to levy such tax only to the extent that an operating supplement requirement or a debt service reserve supplement requirement shall occur during the fiscal year preceding the fiscal year in which the tax is to be levied. In no event shall the county or city be required to levy a tax in excess of the rate required to be levied in accordance with the approval of the voters as provided in subsection (c). When any such tax is to be levied, the county or city shall include in its budget ordinance an appropriation to the issuing municipality or the appropriate fund, as the case may be, equal to the estimated yield of the tax levy, and shall pay such appropriation to the issuing municipality or transfer moneys to the appropriate fund in equal monthly installments unless another mutually satisfactory schedule of payments is agreed upon.

(b)        A covenant made, or the pledge of an agreement entered into, by a county or city pursuant to this section shall be effected by the provisions of the revenue bond order or the trust agreement securing revenue bonds of the issuing municipality and where the issuing municipality is not also the taxing county or city a resolution of the county or city approving the appropriate provisions of the bond order or trust agreement relating to the pledge of the tax. If the taxing county or city is not the issuing municipality, it shall file an application for approval of the resolution with the secretary of the Commission in the manner provided in G.S. 159-149, and the Commission shall determine whether to approve the application as provided by G.S. 159-151 and 159-152; provided, however, that G.S. 159-148 and 159-150 shall have no application to this section.

(c)        A covenant made, or agreement entered into, by a county or city pursuant to this section shall take effect only if approved by the affirmative vote of a majority of those who vote thereon in a referendum held in the taxing county or city. The referendum shall be called and held as provided in G.S. 159-61, except that

(1)        The ballot proposition shall be in substantially one of the following forms:

Operating Supplement Requirement:

"Shall the (order or agreement) binding the (taxing county or city) to levy annually a tax on property not in excess of ______ cents on the one hundred dollars ($100.00) value of property subject to taxation for the purpose of supplementing the revenues of (revenue bond project) in instances where the gross revenues of the project are estimated to be less than the estimated total costs of the (i) current operating expenses of the project, (ii) amount required to maintain the debt service reserve by repaying any withdrawals therefrom in respect of all outstanding bonds issued in connection with the project and (iii) debt service on all outstanding bonds issued in connection with the project, all as defined in such (order or agreement), the proceeds of such tax to be used for the payment of the current operating expenses of the project so long as any revenue bonds issued therefor remain outstanding and unpaid, be approved?

[   ] Yes

[   ] No"

Debt Service Reserve Supplement Requirement:

"Shall the (order or agreement) binding the (taxing county or city) to levy annually, without limitation as to rate or amount, a tax on property subject to taxation for the purpose of supplementing the revenues of (revenue bond project) for maintaining the debt service reserve required by said (order or agreement) in connection with the issuance of not in excess of $ _______ revenue bonds of (the issuing municipality), so long as any of such revenue bonds remain outstanding and unpaid, be approved?

[   ] Yes

[   ] No"

and

(2)        The published statement of result shall have the following statement appended:

"Any action or proceeding challenging the regularity or validity  of this supplemental tax referendum must be begun within 30 days after (date of publication).

                                                                                    ____________________________________

(title of governing board)."

(d)       Any action or proceeding in any court to set aside a supplemental tax referendum held under this section, or to obtain any other relief, upon the ground that the referendum is invalid or was irregularly conducted, must be begun within 30 days after the publication of the statement of the result of the referendum. After the expiration of this period of limitation, no right of action or defense based upon the invalidity of or any irregularity in the referendum shall be asserted, nor shall the validity of the referendum be open to question in any court upon any ground whatever, except in an action or proceeding begun within the period of limitation prescribed in this subsection.

(e)        An order or agreement submitted to and approved by the voters pursuant to this section may be repealed at any time before bonds are issued pursuant thereto.

(f)        In instances where the taxing county or city is not the issuing municipality, such county or city may levy taxes as provided for in this section in respect of a revenue bond project located outside its corporate limits provided that such county or city is entitled by law to appoint one or more members of the governing body of such municipality.

(g)        For the purposes of this section,

(1)        A "revenue bond project" is limited, notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 159-81, to (i) aeronautical facilities, including but not limited to airports, terminals and hangars, (ii) hospitals and other health-related facilities, and (iii) systems, facilities and equipment for the collection, treatment or disposal of solid waste within the meaning of said G.S. 159-81;

(2)        An "operating supplement requirement" occurs when, as set forth in the budget prepared by the issuing municipality in respect of the revenue bond project, the estimated cost in the next succeeding fiscal year of the (i) current operating expenses of the revenue bond project, (ii) amount required to maintain the debt service reserve by repaying any withdrawals therefrom in respect of all outstanding bonds issued in connection with the revenue bond project, and (iii) debt service on all outstanding bonds issued in connection with the revenue bond project, are in excess of the pledged revenues of the revenue bond project for such fiscal year as estimated by the issuing municipality, excluding taxes levied pursuant to this section; provided, however, that the amount of the operating supplement requirement shall not exceed the total amount of the current operating expenses of the revenue bond project mentioned in clause (i) above, and

(3)        A "debt service reserve supplement requirement" occurs when there have been withdrawn from the debt service reserve any moneys for the purpose of paying debt service on the bonds in respect of which the supplemental tax has been authorized by the voters; provided, however, that the amount of the debt service reserve supplement requirement shall not exceed the amount so withdrawn.

(h)        Any covenant or agreement of a county or city made pursuant to this section, and the obligations assumed thereby, shall be excludable from the gross debt of the county or city for purposes of the statement of debt mentioned in G.S. 159-55.

(i)         For the purposes of this section the terms county or city shall include a special airport district with respect to financing of aeronautical facilities. (1973, c. 786, s. 1; 1979, c. 727, s. 5; 1983, c. 795, s. 6.)

 

§ 159-98.  Reserved for future codification purposes.