Tuesday April 13, 2010 | Annexation

April 12, 2010 at 9:21 am | Posted in Coming Up | 6 Comments

A look at the controversial issue of annexation. According to the state Supreme Court, forced annexation is defined as a policy that provides meaningful services to unincorporated areas. Critics point out that North Carolina is one of the very few states left to continue the practice of forced annexation but advocates say it’s a way to keep Charlotte’s economy healthy and to help provide services to outlying areas. We’ll delve into the issue of forced annexation.
Daren Bakst
– Director, Legal and Regulatory Studies, John Locke Foundation
DeWitt “Mac” McCarley – Attorney, City of Charlotte
Walter Fields – Planner, Urban Resource Group

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  1. One of the many issues with annexation is that the land/property owners are forced to pay increased taxes for amenities that they often must wait long periods of time to actually receive (often years). They are also forced to regulations that change the status of their properties, which affect the usefulness and sell-values. These are not always positive changes. An example: A property has an excellent well on it that has provided pure water to the inhabitants and land (watering gardens). The annexation mandates that they acquire (at their own expense) city connection for all of their water needs with an additional lifelong ‘consumption expense’. Many of these land parcels are farmland with farm animals. Annexation would not only cause the owner/inhabitant excessive expense with water usage, but will also change the status of what could be brought onto the land and what could be ‘replaced’ as structures erode and livestock dies off, etc. Land owners must weigh what they feel the ‘long term’ benefits of regulations and amenities will be against current use.

  2. No wonder so many people don’t trust government!
    The reason so many in the rural areas don’t want to be annexed is because they can live with volunteer fire protection, providing their own water from a well and getting their own septic systems cleaned out; they also want to have their chickens, cattle, or whatever they love and city’s don’t like that one bit; they have to sell out and move away from their homes, and moving always costs plenty, in order to have the life they want. I have to move because my property taxes went up 50% this year and I’m on limited income. But I can’t sell out for enough to buy another place in a rural area and definitely not in an annexed area, because the economy is to bad.
    I am what is slandered as a liberal…..but i sure “get” this resistance to annexation.I’m willing to stay out of your city if you will just leave me alone. You don’t need my money, anyway. Oh, wait a minute, if your city was so great, you wouldn’t need to annex me, you could support yourself.

  3. I understand the case for annexation by large job creating cities like Charlotte, but how about smaller towns? I live in in Cabarrus County and was annexed by the city of Concord. For an increase of $900 a year in taxes, I received trash pickup, period. Fire and police protection wasn’t added; it was just changed from county to city. And of course, my county taxes didn’t go down. By having a state wide blanket law, smaller communities like mine get swept up in annexation where there is littlle justification for them.

  4. “The whole pyramid of cultural man vanishes. It crumbles from the summit, first the world-cities, then the provincial forms and finally the land itself, whose best blood has incontinently poured in to the towns, merely to bolster them up awhile. At the last, only the primitive blood remains, alive, but robbed of its strongest and most promising elements. This residue is the Fellah type.” – from Chapter XIII – ‘Cities and People’ in THE DECLINE OF THE WEST by Oswald Spengler

  5. Daren did great in this debate. This controversial issue is finally being debated with some balance rather than the one sided rhetoric coming from the city lobbyists.
    Thank you Daren for the research you have done and papers you have published.

    All the comments posted so far have also been excellent in exposing some very real problems with the pracice of allowing cities to have this over reaching and unAmerican power.

  6. Annexation:
    I was in and out of my car and may have missed a point, ot two that was shared by others.
    To be sure that my points are made –

    In my experiance, when a county resident gets City water, the charge rate is double that paid by those in the City limits. For those municipalities using that system the water user is probably paying the full cost of service, and if not, the rate should be adjusted. If the City is breaking even on water service, why should those citizens be forced to join the City.

    I have yet to hear a government employee state that taxes paid exceed the cost of providing services. Government employees always lament the cost of providing services. So why would a municipality want to expend money loosing services? The answer is in big towm / vs. small town payroll. City Managers ( and County ones too) want large groups of employees to manage. The bigger the City, the greater the justification for larger management pay checks. If this were not true, Charlotte’s manager would not earn more than the one in Littleton ( and yes there is a Little-ton in NC).

    I live in a part of an area county where citizens have a local association. We asked the planning staff if there could be an “overlay” zoning district to be called “Rural Preservation District” so that no town could grab us for their benefit and force us to have light polluting street lights, sidewalks where no one walks, City garbage services in stead of private garbage, and so forth. We were told that no provision exits.

    Why, if citizens don’t want to be taken in, should they be forced to be? The statutes need to be reversed- citizens should have to petition to be allowed to join a City.

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