One The Lincolnton/Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors on Tuesday voted to endorse a constitutional amendment that would authorize self-financing bonds for local government.
Known as Amendment One, the measure would give local government an exemption from the requirement in the state constitution of voter approval for financing bonds. It will be on the ballot in November.
Because the bonds do not pledge the communityâ€™s full taxing power, no referendum is required.
The change is designed to foster economic development, and has the support of the N.C. Association of County Commissioners. It would allow local governments, development groups or businesses to designate a development district and create a public-private partnership to shape the projectâ€™s scope.
According to Barry Matherly of the Lincoln Economic Development Association, North Carolina is one of only two states in the nation that do not provide such authority.
He said the change would encourage new development such as the creation of industrial parks, without local government having to go through an election process.
All projects would still have to go through an approval process with the Local Government Commission.
In more than 50 years, no local bond approved by the commission has defaulted, according to North Carolinians for Jobs & Progress.The chamber resolution will be passed on to state lawmakers May 25 when chamber officials visit the legislature.by Albert Dozier