Other (indicate in message) Submitted: May 7, 2020 | Updated: May 15, 2020

(May 2020) Request for info. related to “constitutionality of BCTDA’s proposals to help our community”

Hello Buncombe County, NC Tourism Development Authority (BCTDA),

I’d like to make a public records request for the following information. The responsive records provided should include the timeline 02/01/20 - 05/05/20:

I believe there was some discussion of the constitutionality of proposals to help our community that were before the TDA recently. The following analysis from the NC House Rules Committee seems to place the legality of the recently passed legislation into doubt.

Can the BCTDA please provide documentation for any analysis that has been done on the constitutionality of this legislation and any legal documentation for why these constitutional issues should be ignored and this program should go ahead?

USE OF BUNCOMBE COUNTY OCCUPANCY TAX PROCEEDS
Section 1.5 would authorize the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority to use existing occupancy tax proceeds in its Tourism Product Development Fund to provide grants up to $50,000, through the use of an agency experienced in emergency management funding, to businesses that promote tourism and patronage of lodging facilities in the county and that have either closed or suffered significant economic loss due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The grant program would end 6 months following the date the state of emergency ends.

As drafted, this section presents two constitutional concerns. First, providing grants to private businesses to jumpstart or maintain operations may violate a combination of the public purpose doctrine and the exclusive emoluments clause found in Article V, Section 2(1) and Article I, Section 32, respectively. Second, repurposing existing occupancy tax funds for a use other than that set out in existing law may violate the "special object" limitation in Article V, Section 5 of the Constitution.

Thank you for your assistance!

Editor’s Note: Sunshine Request makes no claim as to the veracity of any statements or information contained in any of the requests, or public records, we receive.

Status: Completed

Activity:

  • May 15, 2020 8:53 am

    3 weeks ago

    from: Kathi Petersen <[email protected]>
    to: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    date: May 15, 2020, 8:53 AM
    subject: RE: Records Request: (May 2020) Request for info. related to “constitutionality of BCTDA’s proposals to help our community”

     

    Good morning. With respect to future requests on this or other matters, we will respond appropriately to each one as it is received, as we normally do.

     

    Thank you.


    Status: Completed
  • May 14, 2020 4:09 pm

    3 weeks ago

    from: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    to: Kathi Petersen <[email protected]>
    date: May 14, 2020, 4:09 PM
    subject: Re: Records Request: (May 2020) Request for info. related to “constitutionality of BCTDA’s proposals to help our community”

     

    Hi Kathi,

     

    Thank you for your reply!

     

    We wanted to ask for clarification on the following: “This request has been received and no public records exist on this topic.”

     

    We understand you’re saying that “no public records exist” related to this specific request. We will mark this request as “Completed” on our site.

     

    RE: “Any documents responsive to this request are privileged, as per legal counsel.”

     

    Does this suggest that any future records requested (including things like emails, memos, texts, etc.) on this topic will not be provided, and are privileged?

     

    Please let us know and we’ll note this on our site for future reference.

     

    Thank you for your help.

     

    Have a great afternoon!
    Sunshine Request


    Status: Completed
  • May 11, 2020 5:35 pm

    3 weeks ago

    from: Kathi Petersen <[email protected]>
    to: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    date: May 11, 2020, 5:35 PM
    subject: RE: Records Request: (May 2020) Request for info. related to “constitutionality of BCTDA’s proposals to help our community”

     

    Good afternoon, Sunshine Request.

     

    This request has been received and no public records exist on this topic. Any documents responsive to this request are privileged, as per legal counsel.

     

    Kathi

     

    Kathi M. Petersen
    Director of Public Information & Community Engagement

     

    Explore Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau

    27 College Place | Suite 200 | Asheville, NC 28801
    C: 828.712.1286 | O: 828.318.8960
    [email protected]


    Status: Response Received from Government
  • May 7, 2020 4:22 pm

    4 weeks ago

    from: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    to: Kathi Petersen <[email protected]>
    date: May 7, 2020, 4:22 PM
    subject: Records Request: (May 2020) Request for info. related to “constitutionality of BCTDA’s proposals to help our community”

     

    Good afternoon Explore Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau,

     

    We’ve received another public records request via our website www.sunshinerequest.com for information that may be available in your office.

     

    Please confirm receipt to let us know the request will begin processing, and if possible, please provide a rough estimate of when the request may be completed. We will plan on following up again around that time.

     

    Here are the details of the request:

     

    Subject: (May 2020) Request for info. related to “constitutionality of BCTDA’s proposals to help our community”

     

    Message: “Hello Buncombe County, NC Tourism Development Authority (BCTDA),

     

    I’d like to make a public records request for the following information. The responsive records provided should include the timeline 02/01/20 – 05/05/20:

     

    I believe there was some discussion of the constitutionality of proposals to help our community that were before the TDA recently. The following analysis from the NC House Rules Committee seems to place the legality of the recently passed legislation into doubt.

     

    Can the BCTDA please provide documentation for any analysis that has been done on the constitutionality of this legislation and any legal documentation for why these constitutional issues should be ignored and this program should go ahead?

     

    USE OF BUNCOMBE COUNTY OCCUPANCY TAX PROCEEDS
    Section 1.5 would authorize the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority to use existing occupancy tax proceeds in its Tourism Product Development Fund to provide grants up to $50,000, through the use of an agency experienced in emergency management funding, to businesses that promote tourism and patronage of lodging facilities in the county and that have either closed or suffered significant economic loss due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The grant program would end 6 months following the date the state of emergency ends.

     

    As drafted, this section presents two constitutional concerns. First, providing grants to private businesses to jumpstart or maintain operations may violate a combination of the public purpose doctrine and the exclusive emoluments clause found in Article V, Section 2(1) and Article I, Section 32, respectively. Second, repurposing existing occupancy tax funds for a use other than that set out in existing law may violate the “special object” limitation in Article V, Section 5 of the Constitution.

     

    Thank you for your assistance!”

     

    **Sunshine Request makes no claim as to the veracity of any statements or information contained in any of the requests, or public records, we receive.

     

    Thank you,
    Sunshine Request


    Status: Sent to Government
  • May 7, 2020 1:29 pm

    4 weeks ago

    Submitted to Sunshine Request
    Status: Pending