If you’ve been thinking about having a referendum for bonds or sales tax in your community, you should know that the calendar for Spring 2020 will be different than it has been in prior years.

In 2020, North Carolina’s primary election date will be on March 3, instead of the first Tuesday in May. The General Assembly made this change to combine other primaries with North Carolina’s presidential preference primary. This change is expected to increase turnout, save some money and increase the relevance of the presidential primary.

The new calendar means, however, that your calendar for a spring bond or tax election has also been moved up. You should plan to have your formal process for calling the referendum completed by the end of the candidate filing period on December 20. The formal process requires action at three different governing board meetings, with built-in statutory, mandatory waiting periods in between. We’d suggest you get the ball rolling on the formal process by early October, which means, in turn, that you need to have informally worked out the bond plan with the governing body before then.

Please contact Bob Jessup or Ashley Anderson if you have any questions about this process; we’re happy to answer the initial questions on a no-cost, no-obligations basis. Click here to learn more about our local government finance practice and click here to see our disclaimer.