The sponsors of HB845 “Annexation Reform Act of 2011” reached a compromise with Democrats who complained about the lack of services for low income communities.
The Democrats last week said distressed areas were often avoided by cities in annexations and said it was those communities that really needed the city services, such as water and sewer lines.
The Republican sponsors of the bill, the Democrats and the League of Muncipalities negotiated over the last few days and came to a compromise. If 51 percent of the households in a community next to a city are 200 percent of the federal poverty level then the city could be required to annex that community. But there would first be a study to determine if the city could afford the addition.
Still in the bill is the provision if 60 percent of the property owners in a community reject an annexation then the city would have to hold off for at least 36 months.
A city would also have to pay the full cost of providing services to the property owners who request them early in the annexation process.
The House Finance Committee approved the bill.