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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — For years the City of Wilmington has used forced annexation as a way to grow. The city has plans to annex more land outside its borders, but bills in the legislature may get in the way.

Some New Hanover County residents choose to live beyond city limits to avoid paying city taxes, but the concept of forced annexation could affect anyone, no matter their ZIP code, but now the proposed annexation moratorium could mean an end to that.

“This bill stops annexations all across North Carolina for the time being so that we can get a bill put together that allows people in the areas to be annexed to vote on whether or not they want to be brought into a city or town,” said Sen. Thom Goolsby (R-New Hanover), the primary sponsor of the Senate bill.

Wilmington City Councilwoman Laura Padgett is against it, because it would put a hold on annexation plans already in place.

“I don’t have a problem with looking at the annexations laws, and I think there could certainly be some changes, but I don’t think they should be doing a moratorium in the meantime, because that does hurt cities that have already begun the process under current rules and have met the rules,” Padgett said.

Ed Healey chooses to live outside city limits to avoid taxes.

“People who are gonna be annexed obviously should have some say in the matter,” Healy said. “They shouldn’t just have to sit by the sidelines and have the city tell ’em this is what they’re gonna do. I mean, we live in a democracy, and that sounds more like a dictatorship.”

Padgett believes city residents should also have a say in annexation because some feel they are paying for others’ benefits.

“I don’t blame them for not wanting to be annexed,” Padgett said. “Nobody wants to pay more than they have to for their lifestyle, but on the other hand, because we are such a densely populated county, most people are part of the urban scene in Wilmington, and Wilmington residents pay more to keep that going than residents outside the city do.”

Goolsby feels forced annexation is a way for cities to pay for overspending. He hopes the legislature passes the moratorium so there will be time to figure out the details of a new annexation policy.

The moratorium would put a stop to forced annexation for up to 18 months.

New Hanover County’s Danny McComas, Pender County’s Carolyn Justice and Brunswick County’s Frank Iler have co-sponsored a similar bill in the House of Representatives.

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11 Comments on "Area Republicans look to stop forced annexation"

2015 years 9 months ago

What services do county residents use of the city that they don’t pay for? Please exdplain, because the last time I checked I pay a trash and water bill. And the roads are state funded so I help pay for them too. But if you mean double taxes, you’re right I don’t pay those.

2015 years 9 months ago

I disagree here. I use the STATE roads to get to and from work and VERY RARELY venture off of those main arteries…provided by both federal and state taxes. As far as the times where I DO venture into the city…I am spending money…which in turn allows the city to profit from me at that time. By your rational..every time you go into a state other than NC, YOU should pay a tax or TOLL as you put it to help pay for your use.

Here is a novel idea..how about the City of Wilmington STOPS spending more than they have, cut some services back or all together! That sounds like a better idea than a land grab JUST for the reason of increasing revenue to pay for their spending sprees! Maybe if we can stop annexation and Wilmington residents taxes sky rocket…the adults can get out to vote and fix the REAL PROBLEM!

I have said it before and I’ll say it again…I gain NOTHING by being forced to pay another tax to the City of Wilmington!

2015 years 9 months ago

Forced annexation is a bad thing; however, in New Hanover County, because we are a densely populated county, people who live outside the county use city services which city residents are forced to subsidize. This is not fair. County/City government should be consolidated so that the expenses of how we live is equitably distributed. Otherwise, prove your residency or pay a toll when you enter the city limits!

2015 years 9 months ago

Prove your residency? Pay a toll? This has got to be the year to date most idiotic statement on this forum.

When I dine at a downtown restaurant I pay a bill. The owner of the establishment pays taxes.

When I use the services of a lawyer downtown, he pays rent or taxes.

When I shop at a store downtown, the shop owner pays rent or taxes.

When the parking meter expires, I pay for a parking violation.

When I house out of town guests at a downtown hotel, I pay a room occupancy tax.

I live in this part of the state mainly for the beach. I have rare need to be in your downtown. What services or benefits are you providing that makes you feel entitled to confiscate more of my $$ in the form of additional taxes? So far, NONE of you, including Fmr. Councilman Jim Quinn and current Councilwoman Padgett have enumerated a single one.

2015 years 9 months ago

Forced annexation is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. Hopefully this 1 year stop will end the Monkey Junction annexation. The city says it needs money…forced annexation is not the answer. It makes the residents hate the local government, especially Saffo. Need money? LEARN TO BALANCE YOUR BUDGET AND QUIT THE WASTEFUL SPENDING!

2015 years 9 months ago

I do hope that this will further delay the city’s impending annexation of Monkey Junction… this has got to be a classic case of “taxation without representation” if I’ve ever seen one!

2015 years 9 months ago

the people affected should have the right to vote on annexation.

2015 years 9 months ago

Stopping annexation is a good start. Saying, as Councilwoman Padgett does, that we are part of the “urban scene” in Wilmington is at best debatable, at worst, cynical BS sophistry.

Ms. Padgett needs to be where Jim Quinn is; out of office with little hope of returning.

Dues to the NC League of Municipalities should be stricken from Wilmington’s budget. Here’s what they have to say about preserving annexation along with a statement by our current esteemed Mayor Saffo defending the annexation status quo as good public policy http://www.nclm.org/legislative-advocacy/pages/whatsnewdetail.aspx?List=b431d83a%2D0059%2D4b54%2Db8aa%2D9382b5120a9a&id=87

I am very pleased with the promptness of Sen. Goolsby’s action. My only regret is that he’s not triplets.

2015 years 9 months ago

Maybe we should look at the real problem before forcing people to pay more, who already cannot aford it. Two worthless convention centers had to happen,; both operate in the red; simply built to support special interests. And, an expensive bridge to make somebody’s property of special interest- even more valuable— is really needed too. Worried about getting MORE travel money, when allotted around 18K already! Retreats and trips in the thousands, and paying for planners around 38K. Schools are cutting positions, barely making it, and does this look like a county/city reduction in a budget crunch to you? Big business and studios are geting tax breaks and thousands in incentives. Let’s just keep annexing the poor people, to pay for these ridiculous expenditures and trips. The same affluent people will get more and more money as usual. Thank you Mr. Goolsby for trying to be reasonable and please put a stop to some of this spending nonsense. It is not the little people that are benefiting.

2015 years 9 months ago

City/county taxes are primarily paid by property owners. The defenders of forced annexation had the CHOICE purchase their homes in the City of Wilmington. Certainly this decision was based on a lifestyle preference, as was my decision to reside outside of the city limits. It seems the solution is simple. Elect city leaders that will be responsible. That is within their power. Annexation of those for the sole purpose of expanding the tax base is wrong. Maybe the city should impose a rental tax on the tenants of the many units that populate the city. After all, they use the roads/shops/medical facilities and have the right to vote on issues that impact property owners.

Porters Neck 2
2015 years 9 months ago

I moved out of the city 20 years ago to avoid taxes. I have all the services I need. I don’t use the “amenities” Padgett speaks of. What was once rural land is developed and the city would love to be able to tax Porters Neck and Figure Eight without representation. I support being allowed to vote on it. THAT…is democracy Mrs Padgett and Mr. Saffo.


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