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Archive for March, 2013

Local Lawmaker Pushes Annexation Bill

Source: http://www.wdef.com/news/story/Local-Lawmaker-Pushes-Annexation-Bill/LkvW_rgewEyxp1wgw9Mqdw.cspx
Reported by: Webb Wright

One local lawmaker wants to give Tennesseans a say in whether they can be annexed when their homes and communities are at stake. Ooltewah representative Mike Carter is sponsoring the annexation reform bill. Tennessee is one of only three states that don’t require referendums when a city want to annex surrounding areas.
The bill would force any annexation attempt to be put to a vote.
Carter says whether you are for or against annexation, Tennessee residents should have a voice in the process.
“The question is not whether it benefits you or not. The question is do you have the right as an American citizen and a citizen of Tennessee to vote on an issue that’s going to dramatically affect your life. And I say that in this and in all other issues, you have the right to vote.”
The bill is scheduled to go before the House Finance Ways & Means Subcommittee next week.

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ACTION REQUIRED: State Bill HB475 – Stop Forced Annexation – Before Tue 3/12

Residents, Leaders and Groups

Call & Email before Tuesday 3/9/12

Friends Of Hamilton, working with community leaders and state representatives is requesting an IMMEDIATE CALL TO ACTION to support of House Bill – 475. This bill would provide residents the RIGHT TO VOTE FOR ANNEXATION of their properties. We need you to call & email each of the representatives listed below and request their support!

The Tennessee Municipal League (TML- see bottom), City of Chattanooga, Collegedale and other city leaders oppose this bill because it takes away their ability to FORCIBLY annex Tennessee resident’s properties to reap tax revenues.  There are only 3 states in the country that allow FORCIBLE annexation (we are one). North Carolina recently adopted a bill similar to HB-475 to provide their residents the right to vote on annexation (both city residents and rural communities).

Learn More about HB-475 Click Here.

What is forced annexation and why are we fighting it?

  • Forced annexation allows a city to annex adjacent areas simply through a city council ordinance.
  • Annexed businesses and residents don’t get a choice. And their taxes skyrocket.
  • Since 1998, the State of Tennessee has operated a “forced annexation” regime driven by TML (2nd largest lobbing group paid for by tax payer dollars).
  • Prior to 1998, Tennessee citizens were able to consent or deny annexation by majority vote.
  • That right was a problem for city leaders looking to increase revenues without having to reduce spending or risk politically toxic tax increases.
  • Tennessee is one of only three states using forced annexation (Idaho and Indiana are the others; North Carolina recently revoked its forced annexation law).

Forced annexation discourages government accountability

  • Many cities use annexation as a way of avoiding desirable financial and budget reforms, like renegotiating unsustainable employee pensions and restructuring financing for needed infrastructure improvements.
  • This dishonest cost shifting is unfair to residents targeted for annexation and unfair to city residents desiring honest, responsible and accountable government.
  • Cost-shifting through forced annexation creates an arrogant attitude in city leaders similar to that of a welfare queen with an entitlement mentality, as if the city is entitled to tax residents in unincorporated areas just for living near the city.
  • We believe city leaders seeking to annex should follow the American Way and sell to targeted residents the benefits of annexation, demonstrating that services and other value offered are worth the increased taxes.

Forced annexation encourages burdensome taxes

  • Increased taxes from forced annexation are an unplanned burden many cannot afford.
  • Some are forced to sell their property for under fair market price just to unload their increased burden.
  • Newly-annexed residents and businesses must immediately pay their city taxes, but typically do not see service improvements, if any, for years.

Forced annexation often extends city infrastructure beyond capabilities

  • For many cities, water and utility infrastructure may not be designed to accommodate expansion brought by annexation, often requiring costly upgrades.
  • Many cities fail to appropriately increase their staffing to accommodate newly annexed areas.
  • Residents and businesses in unincorporated suburban areas already have the services they need and want to live and work comfortably, from utilities and trash pickup to fire and police protection.

Learn More about Forceable Annexation

No-Commitment/No-Response

Rep. Jimmy Eldridge (R-73)           615-741-7475            rep.jimmy.eldridge@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Dale Carr (R-12)                     615-741-5981             rep.dale.carr@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Sherry Jones (D-59)               615-741-2035            rep.sherry.jones@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Larry Miller (D-88)                    615-741-4453            rep.larry.miller@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Bo Mitchell (D-50)                    615-741-4317            rep.bo.mitchell@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Antonio Parkinson                    615-741-4575            rep.antonio.parkinson@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Mike Sparks (R-49)                 615-741-6829            rep.mike.sparks@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Mike Stewart (D-52)                615-741-2184            rep.mike.stewart@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Matthew Hill (R-7)                   615-741-2251            rep.matthew.hill@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Joe Carr (R-48)                       615-741-2180             rep.joe.carr@capitol.tn.gov

Rep .Jeremy Durham (R-65)          615-741-1864            rep.jeremy.durham@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Steve Hall (R-18)                     615-741-2287            rep.steve.hall@capitol.tn.gov

 

Confirmed to YES VOTE on BILL (GREAT!)

Rep. Mike Carter

Rep. Andy Holt (R-76)

Rep. Richard Floyd (R-27)

Rep. Vince Dean (R-30)

Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-11)

Read more about FORCE ANNEXATION on FOH Website: Click Here

Who is TML? Why should you care?

The Tennessee Municipal League (TML) is a lobbing group funded by cities looking to extend their reach. These cities are using city tax payer dollars to fund TML’s lobbing efforts. Most city residents do not realize their taxes are being spent on lobbing efforts to take property rights from Tennessee residents. We strongly encourage city residents call their elected councilmen and mayors to demand DE-FUNDING TML.

Look who is on their board are they representing TN resident’s interest?

Ron Littlefield                  Chattanooga      Mayor (past)
Tom Rowland                  Cleveland           Mayor
David May                       Cleveland          Council Member
Madeline Rogero            Knoxville             Mayor
Kari Dean                        Nashville            Mayor
Ken Wilber                      Portland             Mayor
Margaret Feierabend      Briston               Council Member
Bo Perkinson                  Athens                Vice Mayor
Kevin Helms                   Oak Hill               City Manager
Vance Coleman              Medina               Mayor
Bryan Atchley                Sevierville           Mayor
Wallace Cartwright        Shelbyvlle            Mayor
Ann Davis                      Athens               Council Member
John Holden                   Dyersburg         Mayor
Sam Tharpe                   Paris                  Mayor
Bob Kirm                        Dyersburg         Alderman
Tom Beehan                   Oak Ridge         Mayor
Kay Senter                     Morristown         Mayor Pro Tem
A.C. Wharton                 Memphis            Mayor
Tommy Green                Alamo                Mayor
Allen Barker                   Humboldt           Mayor
Curtis Hayes                  Livingston          Mayor
Dot Lamarche                Farragut            Mayor
Norman Rone                 McMinville         Mayor
John Hickman                 Waynesboro     City Manager
David Gordon                 Covington         Mayor
Troy Beets                      Kingston           Director
Betsy Crossley               Brentwood        Council Member
Jerry Gist                       Jackson             Mayor
Ron Washington            Murfreesboro    Council Member
Tommy Bragg                Murfreesboro     Mayor
Dale Kelley                    Huntingdon        Mayor
Angi Carrier                   Johnson City      Development Services Director
Charles Seivers             TMBF                 President

Friends of Hamilton continues incorporation push

By Rachel Sauls

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Source: http://community.timesfreepress.com/news/2013/mar/06/friends-hamilton-continues-incorporation-push/?Community-OoltewahCollegedale

Another election has come and gone without the incorporation of the city of Hamilton on the ballot, but leaders in the effort aren’t disheartened.

“We’re going to keep pushing until we have all the valid signatures,” said Friends of Hamilton spokesperson Brendan Jennings.

For more than a year the group has been working through the legal process of incorporating a new city called Hamilton that potentially will extend from Mahan Gap Road north toward Highway 60 and from the Bradley County line south to the Tennessee River. So far, the biggest hang-up in the process has been the requirement of collecting valid signatures from one-third of the registered voters living within the potential new city’s boundaries.

“We have over 2,000 signatures but only roughly half are valid,” said Jennings. “Right now we have calls going out to those with valid signatures encouraging them to tell their friends and neighbors, and we also have a second call going out to those who need to fix their signatures.”

During the signature vetting process, the group has found that many of the people who signed the petition live within the city’s potential limits but are not registered voters, he explained.

“We’re going to continue to push forward,” Jennings said. “Certainly we’d like to have it done this year.”

One of the main reasons behind the Friends of Hamilton’s incorporation effort is the city of Chattanooga’s continued annexation of county property, especially over the last few years. The group recently released an annexation map that shows Chattanooga’s historic annexations from 1838 through the present.

More recent annexations show what the group describes as “cherry picking” properties to bring certain areas into the city primarily because of the tax dollars associated with each property. Jennings said the group feels like continued annexation is imminent regardless of who the city’s mayor will be for the next four years. Outgoing Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield expressed interest last year in reopening the urban growth boundaries in the county that would likely make more land annexable for the city.

“We’re trying to get the word out to the residents that whether or not they want annexation, annexation is coming to them,” Jennings said.

Categories: News