State Representative Mike Carter (R–Ooltewah) announced this week he has filed a package of pro property rights legislation related to the annexation of land in Tennessee.
"After being involved with annexation procedures for the last 25 years, I have filed this legislation to make the overall process more fair and efficient for all interested parties,” said Rep. Carter. “I believe in responsible growth and that mutual respect should be afforded to all citizens, both city and county, with regard to the annexation process. "This legislative package is a definite step in that direction and is why I have decided to move forward with these bills.”
As introduced, Rep. Carter’s legislation requires that:
- A local referendum vote be held to ensure property owners have a voice in the process of a city-initiated annexation;
- A municipality first annex all territory within its urban growth boundary before being allowed to expand further;
- A municipality must provide all promised public services to areas that it is already supposed to serve before annexing more property.
“Tennessee is one of only three states in the nation that allows a city to seize the private property of an individual without that individual having any say in the process,” Rep. Carter said. “Even California is more conservative on this issue as they require a referendum vote in order for a municipality to annex property. In all my life, I never would have thought our state would have to look to California for leadership on fair property rights legislation.”
Rep. Carter is a member of the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee, as well as the House Civil Justice and House Ethics Committees. He lives in Ooltewah and represents District 29, which includes a portion of Hamilton County.