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Legislative Priorities
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Franchise Model – The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association is advancing legislation to protect the franchise business model that promotes entrepreneurship and creates jobs and opportunities. The legislation clarifies that – despite recent efforts by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to redefine “joint employer” – under North Carolina law a franchisor is not the employer of a franchisee’s employees for a host of common employment law claims and legal actions.

Occupancy Taxes – NCRLA supports established occupancy tax guidelines and opposes legislation that violates the guidelines. Under the guidelines:

  • A county occupancy tax rate may not exceed 6 percent and a city occupancy tax rate may not exceed 6 percent when combined with the county rate;
  • At least two thirds of occupancy tax proceeds must be used to promote tourism with the remaining one third used for tourism-related expenditures; and
  • Occupancy tax revenues must be administered by a local tourism promotion agency whose members include representatives of the hospitality industry.

 

Read the occupancy tax guidelines. See an overview of all North Carolina occupancy taxes and their allocation.

Meals Taxes – NCRLA opposes any new meals taxes, which unfairly target patrons of local restaurants and deli counters to fund projects that benefit all community members. When investment in local projects is necessary, everyone should pay their fair share through broad-based funding such as sales taxes, property taxes, or a bond referendum.

School Calendar – NCRLA supports our school calendar law and opposes efforts to change it. The law protects the summer tourism season, which creates jobs and opportunities for thousands of North Carolina residents and generates millions in state and local taxes that support public schools and other government programs and services. The law provides – with some exceptions – that the start date of K-12 public schools may not be earlier than the Monday closest to August 26 and the end date must be no later than the Friday closest to June 11.

Tourism Promotion – NCRLA supports additional funding for state tourism marketing and promotion. Of the $21.3 billion spent by visitors in NC in 2014, $7 billion was spent in restaurants and $3.9 billion was spent in lodging establishments (see Visitor Spending Fast Facts). Research shows that additional investment in marketing will help ensure continued visits to our state and will help generate additional room nights, restaurant expenditures, and will result in additional job creation for our state’s citizens and tax revenues to state and local governments.

North Carolina’s investment in tourism promotion has slipped in recent years from 27th to 32nd among state tourism office budgets and is significantly behind states that are direct competitors including Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, and Kentucky. This poses threat to the businesses who depend on travel and tourism in North Carolina.

Alcoholic Beverage Control – NCRLA supports greater flexibility in alcoholic beverage control (ABC) laws and rules, including Sunday morning alcohol sales. The inability to sell alcohol before noon on Sunday poses a challenge for the many restaurants, hotels, and resorts across the state that serve Sunday brunch, as brunch patrons increasingly request alcohol service. Allowing Sunday morning alcohol sales would bolster the state’s hospitality and tourism industries and generate additional sales and excise taxes to support vital government services.

Short Term Online Rentals – NCLRA supports legislation to level the playing field between traditional lodging establishments (which are heavily taxed and regulated) and short term rentals through sites like Airbnb (which often skirt health, safety, and tax laws and rules). 

Support Tax and Regulatory Reform – NCRLA continues to support tax and regulatory reforms that help the hospitality industry create jobs and opportunities for North Carolinians. Such reforms include lower unemployment insurance burdens, lower corporate and personal income taxes, and a ban on contingent fees for tax auditors.

Oppose Regulatory Overreach – NCRLA continues to oppose legislation that would impose burdens on business and hinder growth and job creation, including bills that would increase the minimum wage, mandate paid sick leave, expand E-Verify, or impose unworkable reporting or paperwork requirements.

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