Bill filed by Forsyth lawmaker to set aside revaluations

Ed Hanes Jr.
UPDATE: NC Rep. Ed Hanes says Rep. Evelyn Terry, a fellow Democrat, will co-sponsor the bill, and that he's still working on his Republican colleagues.

ORIGINAL POST: NC Rep. Ed Hanes Jr. (D-Forsyth) has filed legislation allowing county commissions to set aside the latest property revaluation. The bill, which was filed today, was drafted in response to a public outcry by homeowners in predominantly black neighborhoods on the the east side of Winston-Salem who are alarmed that depreciation rates from 50 to 70 percent will effectively wipe out their most significant investments.

No other members of the Forsyth County delegation, including fellow Democrat Evelyn Terry or the three Republican members, are cosponsors.

Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines has pledged to introduce a resolution in support of the bill at the next city council meeting on March 25.

Meanwhile, the bill faces steep hurdles, being that it was filed by a freshman Democrat in a Republican-controlled state legislature without the support of the county delegation's Republican members. 

And even if the bill passes, there is no guarantee that the Republican-controlled Forsyth County Commission will choose to act on it. Commissioners Walter Marshall and Everette Witherspoon, the two Democrats and representatives of District A who serve on the county commission have urged property owners to lobby their Republican colleagues.

In other legislative news today, Hanes signed on with Rep. Debra Conrad and Rep. Donny Lambeth — both Forsyth County Republicans — to a bill that would allow the city of Winston-Salem to skirt seismic upgrade requirements — essentially building codes ensure that structures are safe in the event of an earthquake — for temporary occupancy of an emergency operations center.

Sen. Pete Brunstetter (R) and Sen. Earline Parmon (D), the two senators from Forsyth County, are cosponsors of the Senate version of the bill.

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