City governments shouldn’t be able to trample on Texans’ private property rights through forced annexation.
That’s the message at the heart of a new Austin American-Statesman article from the Center for Local Governance’s Senior Analyst Jess Fields.
More from the article:
Texans’ property rights have not been secure for a long, long time. For over 100 years, forced annexation has allowed Texas cities to go out and pull county residents into their limits without a vote or any kind of consent.
How can a state that prides itself on limited government and conservative policy allow cities to get away with treating residents of unincorporated areas like subjects? Americans have a fundamental right to determine which government they want to live under, and if you choose to live outside of a city, you shouldn’t be pulled in against your consent.
If Texas is to continue leading the way on limited government policies, forced annexation must come to an end.
Interestingly, Fields’ desire to see an end brought to forced annexation is something that nearly happened this session. The issue received lots of attention and support from a bipartisan group of lawmakers; but unfortunately the bill in the House, HB 2221, came to the floor and was derailed by a point of order while the Senate’s bill, SB 1639, passed out of the upper chamber by a wide margin but time ran out on the session before the House could take action.
Given the importance of protecting Texans’ private property rights, this is an issue that will be at the forefront of the Center for Local Governance’s interim activities and into the next legislative session. Stay tuned for more.