(a) If the area to be annexed described in a resolution of intent passed under G.S. 160A-58.55(c) includes an area in an insurance district defined under G.S. 153A-233, a rural fire protection district under Article 3A of Chapter 69 of the General Statutes, or a fire service district under Article 16 of Chapter 153A of the General Statutes, and a rural fire department was on the date of adoption of the resolution of intent providing fire protection in the area to be annexed, then the city (if the rural fire department makes a written request for a good faith offer, and the request is signed by the chief officer of the fire department and delivered to the city clerk no later than 15 days before the public hearing) is required to make a good faith effort to negotiate a five-year contract with the rural fire department to provide fire protection in the area to be annexed.
(b) If the area is a rural fire protection district or a fire service district, then an offer to pay annually for the term of the contract the amount of money that the tax rate in the district in effect on the date of adoption of the resolution of intent would generate based on property values on January 1 of each year in the area to be annexed which is in such a district is deemed to be a good faith offer of consideration for the contract.
(c) If the area is an insurance district but not a rural fire protection district or fire service district, then an offer to pay annually over the term of the contract the amount of money which is determined to be the equivalent of the amount which would be generated by multiplying the fraction of the city's general fund budget in that current fiscal year which is proposed to be expended for fire protection times the tax rate for the city in the current year, and multiplying that result by the property valuation in the area to be annexed which is served by the rural fire department is deemed to be a good faith offer of consideration for the contract; Provided that the payment shall not exceed the equivalent of fifteen cents (15) on one hundred dollars ($100.00) valuation of annexed property in the district according to county valuations for the current fiscal year.
(d) Any offer by a city to a rural fire department which would compensate the rural fire department for revenue loss directly attributable to the annexation by paying such amount annually for five years, is deemed to be a good faith offer of consideration for the contract.
(e) Under subsections (b), (c), or (d) of this section, if the good faith offer is for first responder service, an offer of one-half the calculated amount under those subsections is deemed to be a good faith offer.
(f) This section does not obligate the city or rural fire department to enter into any contract.
(g) The rural fire department may, if it feels that no good faith offer has been made, appeal to the Local Government Commission within 30 days following the passage of an annexation ordinance. The rural fire department may apply to the Local Government Commission for an order staying the operation of the annexation ordinance pending the outcome of the review. The Commission may grant or deny the stay in its discretion upon such terms as it deems proper, and it may permit annexation of any part of the area described in the ordinance concerning which no question for review has been raised, provided that no other appeal under G.S. 160A-58.60 is pending.
(h) The Local Government Commission may affirm the ordinance, or if the Local Government Commission finds that no good faith offer has been made, it shall remand the ordinance to the municipal governing board for further proceedings, and the ordinance shall then not become effective unless the Local Government Commission finds that a good faith offer has been made.
(i) Any party to the review under subsection (h) may obtain judicial review in accordance with Chapter 150B of the General Statutes. (1983, c. 636, s. 21; 1987, c. 827, s. 1; 2011-396, ss. 2, 9.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014