115C-513. Special tax for certain merged school administrative units.

(a) Scope. - This section applies to a merged school administrative unit that consists of one entire county and part of a second county and is composed of two merging units, one of which is located within one county and one of which is located partly in the same county as the first unit and partly in a second county. A merged school administrative unit to which this section applies may levy taxes as provided in this section to be applied to the payment of notes, bonds, or refunding bonds issued to finance capital costs of school facilities as described in G.S. 159-48.

(b) Issuance of Bonds. - The board of education of a merged school administrative unit may issue notes, bonds, or refunding bonds at one time or from time to time to pay the capital costs of school facilities as described in G.S. 159-48. The bonds shall be issued and maintained in accordance with the provisions of Articles 1, 4, 5A, 7, 9, 10, and 11 of Chapter 159 of the General Statutes, except as modified by this section.

The board of education of a merged school administrative unit shall call for a referendum authorizing the issuance of notes, bonds, and refunding bonds and the levy of a tax to pay amounts relating to these notes, bonds, or refunding bonds. The referendum may be called only with the consent of the boards of commissioners of both counties in which the merged school administrative unit is located. The referendum shall be held in the merged school administrative unit and only those qualified voters who reside in the unit may vote. The board of commissioners of each county shall have the referendum conducted by the board of elections of its county.

After issuance of the approved bonds, the merged school administrative unit shall make timely payments of principal and interest on the bonds after receipt of notification of its debt service obligation pursuant to G.S. 159-35. The provisions of G.S. 159-36 govern a failure by the merged school administrative unit to levy taxes or otherwise provide for payment of the debt.

Bonds, notes, and refunding bonds issued under this section shall be exempt from all State, county, and municipal taxation and assessment, direct or indirect, general or special, whether imposed for the purpose of general revenue or otherwise, excluding income taxes on the gain from the transfer of bonds, notes, and refunding bonds, and franchise taxes. The interest on bonds, notes, and refunding bonds is not subject to taxation as income.

Article 9 of the North Carolina Uniform Commercial Code, Chapter 25 of the General Statutes, does not apply to any security interest created in connection with the issuance of bonds under this section.

(c) Tax. - If a majority of the qualified voters of a merged school administrative unit voting on the question approve the issuance of bonds and levy of a tax as provided in this section, the board of education of the merged school administrative unit may levy a tax on all property having a situs in the merged school administrative unit for the purpose of retiring bonds issued by the unit under this section. Taxes levied pursuant to this section may be levied prior to the issuance of notes or bonds. The authority of a merged school administrative unit to levy a tax pursuant to this section terminates after all of the related notes, bonds, and refunding bonds are discharged or paid.

Before April 15 of each year, the tax assessor of each county in which the merged school administrative unit is located shall certify to the superintendent of schools an estimate of the total assessed value of property in the county subject to taxation on behalf of the merged school administrative unit pursuant to this Article. The board of education of the merged school administrative unit, in the budget it submits to each board of county commissioners, shall set the rate of ad valorem tax it levies as a tax under this section. The levy under this section shall be at the rate necessary to provide for payment of interest on and principal of outstanding notes, bonds, and refunding bonds issued by the merged school administrative unit.

Each county in which the merged school administrative unit is located shall compute and collect this tax in the same manner that county taxes are collected. The tax shall be shown separately on the tax receipts for the fiscal year. Collections shall be remitted to the merged school administrative unit within 10 days after the close of each calendar month. Partial payments shall be proportionally divided between the county collecting the tax and the merged school administrative unit. The board of commissioners of each county collecting the tax levied under this section may, in its discretion, deduct from the proceeds of the tax the actual additional cost to the county of computing, billing, and collecting the tax. (1991, c. 325, s. 3; 1995, c. 46, s. 4; 2015-264, s. 16(b).)