By Samuel Barr
It’s no secret that the Lone Star State’s population is booming, thanks in large part to the Texas Model of low taxes and limited government. And as more and more people move to Texas, many are making the conscious decision to put down roots in suburban areas, outside of any existing city limits. But, as many of these new Texans are coming to find out, there’s a potentially big problem here that they can do almost nothing about.
Many big city governments, eager for new tax receipts, are selectively poaching well-to-do neighborhoods outside their city limits using their annexation authority, forcing onerous taxes and regulations on people that oftentimes don’t have any say in the matter. Here’s more from a new TPPF op-ed:
Under current law, Texas cities are allowed to forcibly annex people and their property with impunity, no matter the wishes of the landowners living in the annexed areas. Allowing these forced annexations to occur runs contrary to the core values that have made Texas great.
As people flock to Texas, attracted by its low taxes and limited government outlook, they are increasingly choosing to live in more suburban areas located outside of the city limits. Some municipalities, seeking to poach these bustling burbs, have begun expanding their borders in a rush to grab land and tax receipts. But by doing so, officials are forcing big-city taxes and regulations on residents who, by their actions, wanted no such thing, effectively ignoring their right to vote with their feet.
Ending forced annexation was, of course, a major focus for conservatives in the 84th legislative session with good legislation, like House Bill 2221 and Senate Bill 1639, making a lot of progress. While these efforts were ultimately stymied during the session, work has already begun to see that these reforms and more are achieved in the next session.
The fight to protect private property rights is on.