Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Win for Property Owners!

Lawmakers deal blow to forced annexation efforts statewide

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The state House voted Thursday to make it much more difficult for cities to expand by annexing land even if property owners object and to cancel contentious annexations by nine towns and cities statewide.

Final legislative votes for both bills are expected next week.

The House voted 70-44 to allow areas being annexed to stop the municipal expansion with a referendum requiring a majority vote. The margin of the vote suggests it might be difficult for supporters to override a veto if Gov. Beverly Perdue steps in.

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Supporters of the legislation argued that cities have abused their annexation power over the years and that property owners have a right to be protected from cities that are just trying to expand their tax base.

The second bill cannot be blocked by a Perdue veto because it involves local issues. Citizens activists celebrated with House Speaker Thom Tillis after the votes.

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