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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A bill to strengthen the position of North Carolina landowners who don’t want to be forced into a municipality against their will got tripped up as lawmakers work out details to help low-income neighborhoods that want to be annexed.

The House Finance Committee debated Thursday but didn’t vote on legislation to rework the forced annexation laws that have been in place for more than 50 years. The proposal would block a city’s decision to annex land if 60 percent of landowners file petitions opposing it.

Anti-annexation groups support the measure. The lobbying arm for North Carolina cities doesn’t care for it but find it less objectionable than a proposed annexation moratorium.

The bill already has passed one House committee and could be again heard by the finance panel next week.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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