Texas law allows cities to unilaterally expand their boundaries by annexing new territory without the consent of its residents. Cities can thus assert control over outlying areas without giving affected property owners a vote in the process.

Municipal annexation power dates back to the 1912 Home Rule Amendment to the Texas Constitution. In response to a nationwide debate about citizens’ rights to local self-governance, Texans enshrined the concept into the state’s formational document. Home rule cities are thus defined by what they cannot do; such municipalities have the authority to exercise any power that is given them by the people and not prohibited by the Constitution or laws of the state.