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Annexation Law & Taxing Districts

Annexation is a term applied to the process of including a property within the boundary of a particular municipal taxing district. Annexation can be voluntary or involuntary, and provides property owners with the benefits otherwise delivered by the municipality, including fire, police and emergency services, water, sewer, garbage removal and highway maintenance. The municipality benefits through enhancement of its tax base.

Involuntary annexation is an annexation process initiated by a municipality rather than a property owner. Generally, annexation issues are decided by public hearing and commission vote. Involuntary annexation is generally a matter of civic and public study, research and debate. As such, citizens affected by annexation are provided with notice and given the opportunity to participate in the process.

The voluntary annexation process can be arduous. The process relies on the same research, planning and consideration as involuntary annexation. The difference lies in how the process is initiated. Upon petition, civil staff members evaluate proposed development plans and associated zoning issues, along with the cost of providing municipal services. Public commentary is requested, evaluated and debated. Reports upon which the city or municipal governing board can rely are distributed and a public hearing is held. The process can take many months, depending on the complexity of the annexation request.

Upon published notice, a governing board or commission vote is held at a final public hearing to adopt or deny the annexation ordinance. If the ordinance is adopted, it will include the effective date of annexation,which governs when municipalities must begin delivering services to annexed properties.

If you are a citizen, property owner, or developer in need of or subject to annexation, we can help you research, apply for, or oppose annexation of your property holdings.

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