You get up every morning
From your ‘larm clock’s warning
Take the 8:15 into the city
There’s a whistle up above
And people pushin’, people shovin’
And the girls who try to look pretty
And if your train’s on time
You can get to work by nine
And start your slaving job to get your pay
If you ever get annoyed
Look at me I’m self-employed
I love to work at nothing all day
And I’ll be
Taking care of business (every day)
Taking care of business (every way)
I’ve been taking care of business (it’s all mine)
Taking care of business and working overtime
— BTO, “Taking Care of Business” , 1973
We’ve written before about North Carolina legislators introducing and voting on bills that would appear to positively affect their “day jobs.” Reps. Boles (R), Hunter (D), and Alexander (D) are all players in the funeral business. Funeral homes provide burial, cremation, and catering services among others. Sometimes they get into the cemetery owning business.
Well, these three guys have introduced HB 937:
Uh-huh. Move along. Nothing to see here. (*These are not the droids you are looking for.*) Well, what exactly does this bill do? Let’s take a look:
- The maximum filing fee for getting a license for a cemetery is upped from $1600 to $1700.
- Proposed cemeteries need to be at least 30 acres — and that land cannot be sold or leased to anyone else for any other purpose. Except for in counties under 125,000 people (amended upward from a population of 35,000) where you only need 15 acres. Boles is from Moore County. As of 2013, Moore County had 91,587 people. Hunter is from Hertford County, which has a population of 24,431 as of 2013. Alexander is the big loser on this one. He comes from Mecklenburg County, which — as of 2013 — had a population of 990,977.
- Here’s another interesting part —
[…] The fee simple title, or lesser estate, in any lands owned by licensee and dedicated
for use by it as a cemetery, which are contiguous, adjoining, or adjacent to the minimum
acresacreage described in subsection (a),subsection (a) of this section, may be sold, conveyed,
or disposed of, or any part thereof, by the licensee, for use by the new owner for other purposes
than as a cemetery; provided that no bodies have been previously interred therein; and provided
further, that any and all titles, interests, or burial rights which may have been sold or contracted
to be sold in such lands which are the subject of such sale shall be conveyed to and revested in
the licensee prior to consummation of any such sale, conveyance or disposition.[…]
Ok. So, this sounds like it clears the way for someone to sell some land they own — right next to a cemetery — to someone wanting to build an apartment complex, a strip mall, a car wash, or whatever else they want. (Just make sure you haven’t buried anybody in that land you’re selling off.) If this land is in a county with less than 125,000 people — and Boles and Hunter each come from counties that fit that criteria — you only have to set aside 15 acres of the land for cemetery purposes instead of 30 acres.
It sounds like somebody — who happens to own land possibly zoned for cemetery use — has a potential real estate deal in the works.