WILMINGTON -- The very mention of the word annexation stirs outrage among some people. Wilmington City Council is considering annexing part of Monkey Junction. Some folks who live there protested on the steps of City Hall Friday, saying they live in the county for a reason: because they do not want to pay city taxes. Some protestors called it taxation without representation. George Wrage's neighborhood was annexed. He said, "Just what did you give us? Really? Nothing. It's a lie, it's a mantra." Others think the city annexing parts of New Hanover County is simply ripping them off. One protester said, "I chose to move out of the city limits for a reason. And I want it to stay that way. I have absolutely no desire for this." On Monday the Wilmington city council will meet to discuss systematic annexation -- that is, the automatic absorption of parts of the county every few years, starting with Monkey Junction. Wilmington City Council member Laura Padgett said, "As it becomes denser and those people use city services that are provided in the city, such as roads, it makes sense for them to be part of the city." Padgettt says city taxes pay for lots of county services and infrastructure, and that it's only fair to expand their tax base. "People do get what they pay for, and in many cases they're already getting what they haven't been paying for in terms of living near the city," Padgett said. The city's last annexation was of the Masonboro Loop area in 1998 -- this time around it's looking to acquire 840 acres between South College and Carolina Beach Roads. City Council will discuss the details of the Monkey Junction annexation -- like how much it will cost county residents in taxes -- at its budget retreat Monday.
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