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Northeast Tennessee lawmakers split on annexation issues

January 5th, 2014 6:45 pm by Hank Hayes

Northeast Tennessee lawmakers split on annexation issues

KINGSPORT — Opinions vary among Northeast Tennessee lawmakers on the future of legislation to require all municipal annexations in the state to be voted on by residents in the area to be annexed.

A bill that passed last year placed a moratorium on annexations through May 15, and led to a Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) study on the issue.

The TACIR study suggested “Tennessee should adopt a more participatory process, one that gives people more control over whether and when they are annexed.” 

Three options, TACIR noted, could include annexation by referendum, approval of an urban growth boundary by popular vote and petition for being removed from an annexed area under certain conditions.

But Tri-Cities governments, in their Joint Legislative Policy (JLP) document submitted to area lawmakers, oppose any legislation that limits or restricts the annexation ability of cities.

“Anything that restricts this ability is potentially detrimental to the economic growth of the state,” the JLP document said.

For an expanded version of this article, please see Monday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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