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 One bill repealed the annexation of Monkey Junction.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.