House bill could put moratorium on forced annexation

This morning, a committee in the state house overwhelmingly passed a bill in favor of an annexation moratorium across the state. It could go before the full house as early as next week. If it passes, the moratorium could put a screeching halt to the annexation of Monkey Junction residents into the City of Wilmington. Annexation opponent Steve Yates said, "I just don't want any part of it. If I wanted to live in the city, I'd have bought a house in the city." Yates lives in a neighborhood off South College Road -- a place the city of Wilmington is actively trying to annex. He has already been annexed once, at his old house off Masonboro Loop Road. That's one reason he moved here in the first place. Mr. Yates and his neighbors enjoy their lifestyle outside the city limits and say they have no need for city services like water and sewer. But, Laura Padgett and other council members are not deterred by the protests of county residents who don't want to be annexed. "It's only fair that the costs of keeping the community financially healthy be shared," said Padgett. Despite the fact that they're on schedule to raise taxes by 14 percent next year, city council members are still looking to increase revenue. Padgett said, "Frankly, everything is more expensive -- everything. And government is in the same position. Everything we're paying for is more expensive. Everything our employees are paying for is more expensive." That is exactly why some state lawmakers say forced annexation -- requiring more people to pay city taxes -- has to stop. Wilmington representative Danny McComas vice chairs the finance committee that just passed a measure 25 to 4, to put a moratorium on annexation here, and across the state. "It shows that there's an overwhelming majority of members that support this moratorium," said McComas. "We have people living on a fixed income, the economy is down, the cost of fuel is up, the cost of living is up, so when do we say enough is enough?" Representative McComas expects the annexation moratorium bill could go before the full house as early as next week. If it is passed by the general assembly, there would be a moratorium on annexation until June of 2009. During the moratorium, lawmakers would decide whether or not state annexation laws need to be revised. North Carolina is one of only four states in the country that allows cities to annex residents against their will. You may have heard about a separate effort by New Hanover County law makers to put a moratorium place in our county. That effort stalled when Representative Sandra Spaulding Hughes, recently appointed to fill Thomas Wright's seat, pulled her sponsorship from the bill. Ms. Hughes said she might change her mind again and support the local bill. She wasn't sure how she would vote on the statewide annexation moratorium.

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Is there anyone who lives in the city who DOESN"T think consolidation is a good idea? Why not? I can understand why it gets voted down by county residents not in annexation-prone areas of the county each time... but the city will swallow the whole county eventually if it's not stopped.
First I want to thank Wilmington representative Danny McComas, great Job! As for Ms. Padgett with her, "It's only fair that the costs of keeping the community financially healthy be shared,". Maybe she and her cohorts can find a way to spend money responsibly. Maybe a budget? Maybe they could not pervert North Carolina Law for their own distorted agendas. This is just another way for the City of Wilmington to Waste Taxpayer money. If the City of Wilmington is having a problem being financilly healthy, why would they waste millions of dollars on a convention center? Why wouldnt they let private business build it? Isnt it true that in the bid for the building of the C Center, they did not consider the cost of the footing? Now the City will waste another 10 million of tax payer money. The 10% of residents of Wilmington that voted these idiots in should be ticked off. Do any of you even know how distorted the City of Wilmington and some of the other Cities in NC have twisted the laws on annexation into their own favor? Why are we only one of four states to have this type of annexation law? Has anyone ever heard of Taxation without representation? And what about those folks in Seabreeze? Why werent they annexed? They wanted it, they needed the services with which annexation was ment for? Would it have not be a good finacial move for the city? That's all I got for now.
""It's only fair that the costs of keeping the community financially healthy be shared," said Padgett." Uhuh....Doesn't DOT basically take care of all of the roads...STATE funds...so the whole state is in essence already paying a share of the costs for Wilmington. That excuse is BS politician talk because she doesn't have a GOOD reason for it. If a subdivision doesn't want to be a part of the city...they shouldn't be FORCED. The City needs to figure out ways to cut costs instead of the continued waste.
Why are people that live so close to the city complaining about annexation. If they would have done their homework, they would have seen that annexation was in the plans for the Monkey Juction area years ago. If a person does not want to be annexed, then don't live so close to the city limits. Specifically Mr. Yates. You moved from the Masonboro area, but only moved a few miles down the road. I don't believe that this annexation thing snuck up on you. As I see it, everyone of you(people opposed to annexation)want the benefits and services of the city, but do not want to pay your part. Annexation is fine as long as it is not me(people affected by annexation).
There are two sides to every issue...something some people forget. The person that can consider both views, and then decide, is a good citizen. First, no one wants to pay more taxes, or be forced to join a group that they do not wish to join. However, most people live close to a city or town for the benefits of such. Those living just outside the city limits have the best of both worlds. It just so happens that Monkey Junction is squeezed between two cities, and looks much the same as both. I think the ride is over.
Monkey Junction was miles from Wilmington till Wilmington Councilmen discovered they could cover up their mismangement of city funds by annexing. As far as being between 2 cities the only town south of Monkey Junction is the Town of Carolina Beach. They have already shown they are not interested in annexing when a developer at Seabreeze asked them to consider it.
First of all, explain to me what benefits and services the city supplies to me? I have street lights, police, fire/rescue, parks, water, and sewer. I don't need your city beaurocracy and waste. If I eat downtown, I pay for parking and additional city tax. I, and many other people in this county believe we should CONSOLIDATE all of the city and county services and eliminate redundancy. What does it cost to run your city government?
I do see your side. YOU need to see the other side! You already have the services, etc. that you need to function in your home. So do the residents in the city, but they must also pay your county taxes, for the services you enjoy. It's the same situation in reverse..except that this time you're the winner, and those that live in the city are the losers. The only fair way in this smallest county of all 100 counties in North Carolina, is to consolidate. But too many jobs and "powers" would be lost, so that will not happen without the biggest fight since, well, The War Between The States (I know this is a politically and socially incorrect comparison, so please forgive me, and see the incorrect humor.) Now, just one more point. Look at the big picture. You have your necessary services, and so do the city residents that pay YOUR county taxes...as you do not pay for their city taxes. (Lucky you on Friday the 13th.) And I know you do not live in the city limits, BUT generally speaking you enjoy the same benefits of the city dwellers, without financially supporting the extra costs that come along with any "metro" area. And you do "use" the city benefits....come on. One solution: Move deep into the country, and be done with the city.
what services? i live in the county, pay for my own trash service, have a septic tank and the check for water gets written to NHC not the city of wilmington. I drive into the city on state supported roads and spend my money on goods there.
I own 5 homes, all in the county. I bought them in the county for a reason. Monkey Junction has flourished as a mini "metro" area all on it's own without city input. Now the city wants to cash in, just like when it annexed Landfall. Is it not plainly clear that the city only wants to annex areas that 1) are valuable properties or large commercial ventures (Wal Mart, Lowes, Lowes foods - big sales tax revenue) 2) already have infrastructure like water/sewer, etc in place so there is no up front investment on the city's part. The city seems to have no interest in providing services to unincorperated areas to the NORTH of wilmington that actually could use infrastructure investment. I agree that city residents should not have to pay county tax. I also think that people who purchase real estate in the county should be "grandfathered in" and be un-annexable. But really, what does the city provide you? Where do you work? Does the city government add anything to the quality of your lifestyle - or does the private sector arts/entertainment/fine dining restaurants/shops/ and tourist trade provide these things? Less government, no convention center (let private enterprises build it!!!), and no to insider/realtor/good ol boy lobby politicians!!!! All I want is Fire,police,parks/rec, water/sewer, schools, and road maintanance - and I ALREADY GOT IT. No thanks City of Wilmington. Cut costs, increase your residents taxes, or CONSOLIDATE!
By annexing the city has a bigger money base to squander away, and who knows maybe some of it can wind up in the city leaders pockets.
I can't believe how people who are so ignorant about what their taxes pay for will so quickly and proudly show their ignorance when it comes to city residents paying county taxes. As a city resident you are paying county taxes for benefits that YOU enjoy as equally as everyone else in the entire County. NC local governments are a two tier system, not two separate systems and YOUR county taxes are paying for the Courts, the Jails, the Board of Elections, the land records, the landfills and other environmental services, the health services, the SCHOOLS, the libraries, and park services. THINK! Think of how much more money you would be paying and how much your city taxes would have to be raised to fund city jails, city courts, city libraries, city health services, a city dump, a city board of elections, a city Land Records office, City Schools, and probably more I'm not remembering. The city taxes you pay are going for all the "extras" that you elected to have purchased on your behalf when you bought into the city. You are paying for a higher level of separate police protection, separate fire protection, a bigger land planning dept. that is enacted stricter control over land use, your separate garbage collection, city parks (since the ones the county provides aren't enough for you)and some other city-centric "amenities" like dog parks and other goofy special interest handouts at the taxpayers expense. So enjoy them and quit berating County landowners who are satisfied with LESS handouts from their local government and are happy to pay and support private local business for things like garbage pickup. I'd like to see one County cut off the cities from the services that the County taxes pay so the city residents can stop paying county taxes, Then watch the city governments scramble to find the money to replace these county provided services with city services paid with city taxes.
Just leaave us alone. We don't have anything to do with that city, and have all the services we need. The issue of consolidation was put before the voters twice and both times they rejected it.
You actually mean leave my money alone, and allow me to pay less than my fair share of the burden of our community. Your using a now arbitrary line to stick others for your share of a community/citizen responsibility. Please try to understand what that actually means, and try not to think only of the services to your house. (You should consider moving deep into the rural country.) I just admire the logic of those in the surrounding county and Wrightsville Beach who come into the city on a regular/somewhat regular basis, but then again, somehow, do not, at the same time. And believe me those living in the city wish they didn't have to help those in the surrounding county, and those in neighboring small townships, pay for those services you so enjoy.
Understand this: The city is YOUR community, not mine. I don't work there. I don't shop there. I don't bank there. My doctor is out in the county. My dentist is out in the county. We in the county have no desire to say, "We live in Wilmingtton." I completely agree that city residents should pay a reduced county tax assessment because your double taxation is not fair. I know that misery loves company, but just because they put the screws to you, please don't expect us to willingly sign on to having anything to do with that city.
Living in the city limits--sometimes a very arbitrary line determines this--throws city residents here in a type of unfair "double jeopardy", as far as taxes are concerned. Those in the county repeated say that only one set of taxes gives a resident all they require. With that line of reasoning, we in the city are unfairly paying double taxes. I know tuff luck. Well, here is another example of tuff luck. When you residentially hover near a city, enjoying or not enjoying the benefits of such, then you may become involved in sharing the responsibility for the upkeep of such. This is also known as responsibility of citizenship. Common sense would dictate that if one wishes to avoid some of the duties of supporting a city center, than do not live next door to one.
..."I completely agree that city residents should pay a reduced county tax assessment because your double taxation is not fair" confused you? I never told you "tuff luck," did I? Also, understand this - when I purchased my home I DIDN'T live next door to the city. I was many miles from the city. But like the Satan Bug, it just keeps spreading, destroying everything it comes into contact with.
So you are going to take your "ball" and go home. I remember that playground tactic. Well, when people do not want to play fair, maybe that is the best way. But in this case, like the U.S. government, we could build a wall. If "you" stay out of Wilmington city limits, well, I'm pretty sure I can live without Monkey Junction...I could be wrong, but I'm willing to give it a try, if anti-annexation Monkey Junction residents will. This logic is getting childish, but sometimes childhood games are still fun when discussing some serious issues.
The citizens my have rejected consolidation but the county and city ignored that and combined the water and sewer service. Now county residents are going to have to pay more for these services because of the city's mismanagement.
1. Most county water is treated at the City water plant and piped out to the county. 2. All County Sewer not going in a septic tank is treated by City sewer treatment plants. By most accounts, the City was already running the show. It was mighty nice of them to give the county some say in the matter.
are still on wells and septic tanks. So most of us don't NEED the city for anything.
Sterling has been cruising through all this and hasn't taken a shot.....well here's one.....he has been the responsible manager through all this, all these problems were and are his to deal with......somebody poke him with a stick and see if he is awake.....or if he even exists......with all the problems it's like no one is in that office called city manager! Maybe that's why they keep hiring consultants to do his job!