Opponents of North Carolina laws that allow cities and towns to annex nearby property owners against their will got a signal the General Assembly is listening to their protests.
The House Finance Committee on Thursday began a second round of reforming the laws that let communities expand as money spreads out of town. But the annexation process also can force landowners into communities and taxes they don't want.
The committee changed the wide-ranging annexation reform bill Thursday to allow a vote of affected residents on whether to accept annexation. A referendum would be allowed if 15 percent of registered voters within both the existing city limits and the area to be annexed signed a petition seeking a vote.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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