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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Forced annexation took a hit today in the North Carolina Senate. One bill repealed the annexation of Monkey Junction. Another puts annexation in the hands of voters.

“it was just plain wrong,” Sen. Thom Goolsby (R-9th District) said. “It was taxation without representation, and I was glad to take a stand against it and always will.”

Gooslby and the rest of the Senate took a big step battling annexation Thursday passing House Bill 925. If passed by the House, it would stop forced annexation and give residents who live in an area up for annexation a chance to vote on it.

“I think there will be a compromise between the House and the Senate,” Rep. Danny McComas (R-19th District) said. “We’ll find a middle ground, and we’ll be able to do the reform that is necessary for the betterment of our state.”

The second bill deals with the deannexation of Monkey Junction. It essentially wipes the slate clean and places Monkey Junction back in unincorporated New Hanover County. It would also keep Wilmington from trying to annex Monkey Junction for 12 years.

While Rep. Susi Hamilton (D-18th District) is for some type of annexation reform, she takes serious issue with the deannexation bill.

“The city followed a lawful process, and now that time and those city taxpayer dollars have been wasted,” Hamilton said.

She’s also worried about distributing sales taxes. The county gets a lion’s share of that revenue, which has been balanced out by the city’s ability to annex and get property taxes.

“If that’s no longer the case, cities are gonna have to look at other revenue options, and the first place we’re gonna look is at sales tax revenue,” she said.

These bills now move on to the House for a vote.

We tried to contact Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo for reaction. We called his cell phone four times, but his mailbox was full. We called his assistant three time and only got a voicemail. The mayor has not called back.

Comment on this Story

  • Beach Bum

    I, for one, am glad the forced annexation is up for a vote. I think a city has every right to grow, just as much as an individual has a right to expand their own business.

    I do, however, take issue with the duplication of services…such as, fire departments, law enforcement, water and sewer services, trash collection, parks and rec and so on. It would appear that a consolidated government would be more favorable than forced annexation would be.

    Since the residents of Monkey Junction area do not want forced annexation, then they should have no problem taking on section 8 housing developments or sheltering the less desirables next door, considering the price of housing will be more accomodating to those who are a little less wealthy, right?

    I think the city of Wilmington should privledge tax or special use tax every conceivable idea, leaving no stone unturned, to balance out what they will loose with the loss of Monkey Junction land area. maybe they should consider making all major roadways and bridges in Wilmington, toll worthy. Hmmmm?

  • ChefnSurf

    … does NHC really even need Wilmington anymore? We know that Wilmington needs to gobble up as much of NHC as it can. The heavy handed and arrogant way they’ve handled annexations reflects their desperation. Why else would they go so far as to alienate NHC by allowing a developer in NHC to annex his property to the city just so he could circumvent NHC zoning? Annexation has become the triage of choice to stop its bleeding.

    NHC residents get all of the basic services they need from the county. And they get these services without paying additional taxes. They don’t have to deal with a downtown full of bars and increased crime. They don’t have to deal with a city government that’s trying to spend its way to prosperity even if they don’t have the funds to accomplish that. That’s one of the reasons Wilmington’s so desperate to annex additional property.

    The only way to really stop the bleeding is to have responsible city leadership. Leaders who respond to their constituents instead of their cronies. Leaders who look for intelligent creative ways to balance their budget instead of being distracted by the latest, shiny, toy-de-jour. Maybe that will happen, maybe not. Currently it looks more like maybe not.

    Perhaps the concept of the continual growth of the small city has seen its day. At the very least, it looks like the concept of forced annexation has been brought to a screeching halt.

  • guesty

    From the story: “She’s also worried about distributing sales taxes. The county gets a lion’s share of that revenue, which has been balanced out by the city’s ability to annex and get property taxes.”

    Then take issue with how the sales tax money is given out. Don’t take issue that as taxpayers we don’t want yet another tax bill.

  • GuestOccasional

    Rep. Hamilton says: “The city followed a lawful process, and now that time and those city taxpayer dollars have been wasted,”

    In business and home life, we are confronted with the continuing need to make financially beneficial decisions. What’s happened here is that the people have achieved the political will to end the practice of forced annexation.

    Unfortunately, the hours and dollars spent on the MJ annexation are going to be lost, lost forever. This loss is not to be blamed on the taxpayers who have exercised their constitutional right to demand change. To blame beleagured taxpayers is at arrogant, crass and cynical.

    The political interests in favor of continuing forced annexation have yet to wake up to the simple fact that they lost; they failed to recognize the change in voter sentiment that this so called “lawful” process is not only in violation of constitutional principles, it also violates principles of decency.

    Sincere thanks to Sen. Goolsby for representing the interests of the taxpayers on this issue!

    Prior to the attempt to sieze the valuable property in MJ, the process was rigged in favor of City Hall. I guess that this just isn’t so anymore.

    In the years that this debate has gone on, not a single advocate of annexation has been able to provide proof of any benefit for the taxpayers subject to involuntary political seizure.

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