NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Like it or not, thousands of people in Monkey Junction may soon be swallowed up by the City of Wilmington. The possible annexation affects 1,300 properties.
A judge ruled for the city in the annexation fight. Now the next move is up to people who live there. Unless they appeal, part of Monkey Junction will soon sit inside Wilmington's city limits. Many residents and business owners say they don't want to be a part of Wilmington because they don't need the extra services the city can provide, and they definitely don't need the extra taxes.
"I know it'll affect me quite a bit, because I own four acres here, so it'll affect me a right good bit," Phillip Burriss said.
Depending on their fire protection, City Councilwoman Laura Padgett says Burris and his neighbors are looking at spending about 20 percent more on their taxes if they become part of the city.
"It's pretty frustrating, especially people who live around the area that are on a fixed income. This is going to really be devastating to them on account that the taxes are going to be so high," Burriss said.
Shari Martin says increased taxes are going to hurt her business.
"We need to be putting our money into advertising and marketing," she said. "We don't need to spending our money on taxes."
Padgett says Monkey Junction residents would no longer have to pay the county fire district tax, and they would be able to take advantage of city police, fire, water and trash pick-up. But residents say those services won't do them any good.
"They don't have a lot to offer other than higher taxes, because we already have a fire department, sheriff's department, county water, so we really don't have anything to benefit from it other than higher taxes," Burriss said.
Burriss says many Monkey Junction residents feel like they've been left in the dark.
"I don't think it should be left up to the City of Wilmington to make that decision," he said. "I think it should be left up to the people that's involved in the annexation."
Padgett says the annexation is fair because Monkey Junction residents would help pay for city roads, parks, and trails they already use.
The annexation was supposed to go into effect July 1, but it was delayed because of legal challenges. Property owners who filed the original lawsuit will likely appeal. If no appeal is made by the end of the month, the annexation will go into effect August 31.