State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_160B > GS_160B-19

§ 160B‑19. Referendum on consolidation and on assumption of certain debt secured by apledge of faith and credit; right to issue certain authorized but unissued debtsecured by a pledge of faith and credit.

(a)        In connection with a city‑county consolidation, ifthere exists at the effective date of the consolidation (i) any outstandingdebt secured by a pledge of faith and credit of a consolidating city or (ii)the right to issue any authorized but unissued debt of said city that is to besecured by a pledge of faith and credit and is proposed to be assumed by theconsolidated city‑county, then there shall have been held a favorablereferendum on the question of the assumption of that debt secured by a pledgeof faith and credit and, if applicable, there shall have been held a referendumon the assumption of the right to issue that authorized but unissued debtsecured by a pledge of faith and credit.

(b)        The referendum on the question of the assumption of debtsecured by a pledge of faith and credit or, if applicable, the assumption ofthe right to issue authorized but unissued debt secured by a pledge of faithand credit may be included in the proposition submitted to the voters in areferendum called by a consolidation study commission under G.S. 153A‑405.

(c)        If the General Assembly provided for a referendum on thequestion of consolidation instead of a referendum called by a consolidationstudy commission under G.S. 153A‑405, the governing bodies of the unitsproposed to be consolidated, by resolution, may add to the ballot propositionthe assumption of debt secured by a pledge of faith and credit question and, ifapplicable, the assumption of the right to issue authorized but unissued debtsecured by a pledge of faith and credit question. In either event, theproposition shall be substantially as provided in G.S. 153A‑405.

(d)        If the city‑county consolidation is authorized by theGeneral Assembly without a referendum or if there otherwise has not been areferendum on the question of the assumption of any debt secured by a pledge offaith and credit or, if applicable, the question of the assumption of the rightto issue any authorized but unissued faith and credit debt, then the governingbodies of the units proposed to be consolidated, by resolution, may provide fora referendum on said questions.  In addition, any interim governing board forthe consolidated city‑county, by resolution, also may provide for such areferendum.  The proposition submitted to the voters shall be substantially inthe following form (and may include part or all of the bracketed language asappropriate and any other modifications as may be needed to reflect the issueddebt secured by a pledge of faith and credit of any of the consolidating unitsor the portion of the authorized but unissued debt secured by a pledge of faithand credit of any of the consolidating units, the right to issue which isproposed to be assumed by the consolidated city‑county):

"Shall, in connection with the consolidation ofthe City of                  with the County of                 ,the consolidated unit assume the debt of each secured by a pledge of faith andcredit, [the right to issue authorized but unissued debt to be secured by apledge of faith and credit [(including any such debt as may be authorized forsaid city or county on the date of this referendum)] and any of said authorizedbut unissued debt as may be hereafter issued,] and be authorized to levy taxesin an amount sufficient to pay the principal of and the interest on said debtsecured by a pledge of faith and credit?

      [ ] YES    [ ] NO"

(e)        To be approved the proposition must receive the votes of amajority of those voting in the referendum.  In connection with the proposedconsolidation of one or more cities with a county, if the assumption by theconsolidated city‑county of outstanding debt secured by a pledge of faithand credit of the consolidating city and, if applicable, the right to issueauthorized but unissued debt secured by a pledge of faith and credit of theconsolidating city was approved by the votes of a majority of those voting inthe referendum, the vote on that referendum shall constitute the approval by amajority of the qualified voters who vote thereon as required by Article V,Section 4(2) of the Constitution of North Carolina.

(f)         Any such referendum on the question of consolidation or theassumption of debt secured by a pledge of faith and credit or the right toissue authorized but unissued debt secured by a pledge of faith and credit maybe held on the same day as any other referendum or election in the countyinvolved, but may not otherwise be held during the period beginning 30 daysbefore and ending 30 days after the day of any other referendum or election tobe conducted by the board of elections conducting the referendum and alreadyvalidly called or scheduled by law.

(g)        A notice of a referendum on consolidation or on theassumption of debt secured by a pledge of faith and credit or, if applicable,the right to issue authorized but unissued debt secured by a pledge of faithand credit shall be published at least twice in a newspaper of generalcirculation in the county.  The first publication shall be not less than 14days and the second publication not less than seven days before the last day onwhich voters may register for the referendum.  The notice shall state the dateof the referendum, a statement as to the last date for registration for thereferendum under the election laws then in effect, and substantially the textof the proposition to be voted upon.  The notice shall be published by thegoverning bodies of the units proposed to be consolidated or, if applicable,the interim governing board of the consolidated city‑county by theirrespective clerks or by such other person as shall be designated by eachapplicable governing body or board.

(h)        The board of elections shall canvass any referendum onconsolidation and any referendum on the assumption of debt secured by a pledgeof faith and credit or, if applicable, the right to issue authorized but unissueddebt secured by a pledge of faith and credit and shall certify the results tothe governing bodies of the units proposed to be consolidated or, ifapplicable, the interim governing board of the consolidated city‑ countywhich shall then certify and declare the result of the referendum and shallpublish a statement of the result once in a newspaper of general circulation inthe county, with the following statement appended:

"Any action or proceeding challenging theregularity or validity of this referendum must be begun within 30 days afterthe date of publication of this statement of result."

(i)         Any action or proceeding in any court to set aside areferendum on consolidation or a referendum on assumption of debt secured by apledge of faith and credit or, if applicable, the right to issue authorized butunissued debt secured by a pledge of faith and credit in connection withconsolidation, or to obtain any other relief, upon the grounds that thereferendum is invalid or was irregularly conducted, must be begun within 30days after the publication of the statement of the result of the referendum. After the expiration of this period of limitation, no right of action ordefense based upon the invalidity of or any irregularity in the referendumshall be asserted, nor shall the validity of the referendum be open to questionin any court upon any ground whatever, except in an action or proceeding begunwithin the period of limitation prescribed in this section. (1995, c. 461, s. 4.)