NCGA short session: Taking care of (his) business?

legislatureWell, the honorables are back at it on Jones Street for the so-called “short session.” So, we thought it would be fun to check out their agenda for this week.

House Bill 810 is on the list for consideration by the Senate Commerce Committee this week. The bill, entitled “Modify Certain Cemetery Requirements,” has — as its sole sponsorstate Rep. Jamie Boles of Moore County.  Boles, as you may or may not know, owns a successful chain of funeral homes. 

Here is some of the more interesting text from H810: 

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
5 SECTION 1. G.S. 65-55(f) reads as rewritten:
6 Ҥ 65-55. License; cemetery company.
7 …
8 (f) If the Commission intends to grant the authority, it shall give written notice that the
9 authority to organize a cemetery has been granted and that a license to operate will be issued
10 upon the completion of the following:
11 (1) Establishment of the care and maintenance trust fund and receipt by the
12 Commission of a certificate from the trust company, certifying receipt of the
13 initial deposit required under this Article. jamie
14 (2) Full development, ready for burial, of not less than two acres including a
15 completed paved road from a public roadway to said developed section,
16 certified by inspection of the Commission or its representative.
17 (3) A description, by metes and bounds, of the acreage tract of such the
18 proposed cemetery, together with evidence, by title insurance policy or by
19 certificate of an attorney-at-law, certifying that the applicant is the owner in
20 fee simple of such the tract of land, which must contain not less than 30
21 acres, and that the title to not less than 30 acres is free and clear of all
22 encumbrances. In counties with a population of less than 35,000 100,000
23 population according to the latest federal decennial census the tract need be
24 only 15 acres.
25 (4) A plat of the cemetery showing the number and location of all lots surveyed
26 and permanently staked for sale.”
27 SECTION 2. G.S. 65-69 reads as rewritten:
28 Ҥ 65-69. Minimum acreage; sale or disposition of cemetery lands.
29 (a) Each licensee shall set aside a minimum of 30 acres of land for use by said that
30 licensee as a cemetery, and shall not sell, mortgage, lease or encumber the same. In counties
31 with a population of less than 100,000 according to the latest federal decennial census, the tract
32 need be only 15 acres.
33 (b) The fee simple title, or lesser estate, in any lands owned by licensee and dedicated
34 for use by it as a cemetery, which are contiguous, adjoining, or adjacent to the minimum of 30
35 acresacreage described in subsection (a),subsection (a) of this section, may be sold, conveyed,
36 or disposed of, or any part thereof, by the licensee, for use by the new owner for other purposes […]

OK. So things have been changed to reduce the threshold for owning a cemetery to (1) no more than 15 acres (2) in counties of less than 100,000 people.  It had been 30 acres in counties of less than 35,000 people.

Boles Funeral Home has locations in Robeson, Lee, and Moore counties.  According to population data from the last census, Robeson has a population of 134,168.  But Moore had 88,247 people and Lee had 57,866 residents.

One could develop the impression that SOMEONE with 15 acres or less in a county with a population under 100,000 people really wants to create an exception to state regulations so that he or she can set up a cemetery and develop adjacent property.  And it gets better:

The fee simple title, or lesser estate, in any lands owned by licensee and dedicated
34 for use by it as a cemetery, which are contiguous, adjoining, or adjacent to the minimum of 30
35 acresacreage described in subsection (a),subsection (a) of this section, may be sold, conveyed,
36 or disposed of, or any part thereof, by the licensee, for use by the new owner for other purposes 

[…]
1 than as a cemetery; provided that no bodies have been previously interred therein; and provided
2 further, that any and all titles, interests, or burial rights which may have been sold or contracted
3 to be sold in such lands which are the subject of such sale shall be conveyed to and revested in
4 the licensee prior to consummation of any such sale, conveyance or disposition.
5 (c) Any licensee may convey and transfer to a municipality or county its real and
6 personal property together with moneys deposited with the trustee; provided said municipality
7 or county will accept responsibility for maintenance thereof and prior written approval of the
8 Commission is first obtained.
9 (d) The provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section relating to a requirement for
10 minimum acreage shall not apply to those cemeteries licensed by the Commission on or before
11 July 1, 1967, which own or control a total of less than 30 acres of land; provided that such
12 cemeteries shall not dispose of any of such lands. A nongovernment lien or other interest in
13 land acquired in violation of this section is void.
14 (e) If, after lands are sold under subsection (b) of this section in a county with a
15 population of less than 100,000 according to the latest federal decennial census and the licensee
16 has less than 30 acres of unencumbered land for use by the licensee after the sale, the licensee
17 shall transfer to the perpetual care fund an amount equal to three percent (3%) of the gross sales
18 price at fair market value of up to 15 acres sold, within 60 days of the sale.”
19 SECTION 3. This act is effective when it becomes law.

Awfully specific, huh?

1 thought on “NCGA short session: Taking care of (his) business?

  1. So the Representative has spent his life building a successful business, runs for political office, wins election and then wants to alter the regulatory burden on the industry in which he initially achieved success?

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