What's this annexation issue all about? | Beaufort County Now | Most people, especially in Beaufort County, do not live within the city limits of a municipality and most do not even live close enough to be threatened by annexation. | City of Washington, news and information, forced annexation, League of Municipalities

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What's this annexation issue all about?

    Publisher's Note: This article originally appeared in the Beaufort Observer.

    Most people, especially in Beaufort County, do not live within the city limits of a municipality and most do not even live close enough to be threatened by annexation. Thus, we realize that many people don't care much about the current debate taking place in North Carolina, euphemistically called "annexation reform." But it is an issue that should be of concern to every voter. It goes to the very heart of one of our fundamental rights: The right to be left alone. That is, the right to not have the government impose its wishes on you if you do not want what they are "selling" as long as you don't harm someone else.

    Imagine this. A group of residents decides they want cable TV and internet service in their neighborhood. They approach a cable company and the company tells them it is not interested, for financial reasons, in running cable to their area. So they decide to form their own cable enterprise. But to make the numbers work they must have everyone hook on to the cable when it is run past their house. But many people already have satellite so they don't want cable. So the people who do want cable get a law passed that everyone has to pay for cable service whether or not they want it or actually use it.

    Few of us would agree with such a law. But that is the essence of forced annexation.

    So the new Republican controlled Legislature decided to change that. It said: We'll give those who are being annexed the right to opt out. But the cities and towns are fighting that with all they have. It is now in the courts. And even if the cities lose in court it is not likely they will give up easily.     Publisher's Note: This article originally appeared in the Beaufort Observer.

    Annexation is more than about whether you would have to pay city taxes. That is in fact probably the lesser offensive consequence of being annexed. The more significant to many people is that they would come under the city's zoning laws. Zoning, or "Land Use Planning" is arguably the most despotic function of American government (assuming ObamaCare is abandoned). It is the classic epitome of elitism where one small (usually unelected) group is empowered to tell other people that they have a better idea of how you should use your private property than you have. Annexation produces more zoning. Everyone should learn what the issues in forced annexation are and be vigilant about the expansion of oppressive government that never accomplishes the purpose it is claimed to accomplish.

    If you want to read an excellent primer on the current state of the forced annexation issue in North Carolina John Hood of the John Locke Foundation has written an excellent and very readable column about it. You can read it by click here.


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