“It’s a form of taxation without representation, and it will not be tolerated in Texas,” says Gov. Abbott
AUSTIN, Texas (Texas Insider Report) — “We owe State Rep. Phil King and Laura Hester a huge thank you for leading us through this whole process,” said Stop Involuntary Annexation’s Vice President Nathan Vick.
“This was definitely a team effort from the citizens of Parker County. This could not have been done without the work of all our local, grass roots community getting out and working so hard for over a year,” Vick said.
State Rep. Phil King’s House Bill 347, related to ending forced annexation in Texas, became law effective immediately on Monday, June 3rd following Gov. Greg Abbott’s signing of the bill.
“We’ve gone all the way through to getting the bill signed. It took two years, but we finally got it. I’m very excited,” said Laura Hester, president of the Stop Involuntary Annexation organization in Parker County, Texas, just west of Ft. Worth, which initiated the effort from.
“We’re here today for House Bill 347 — it deals with forced annexation. Forced annexation is when cities annex property without the approval of the people or the businesses that are affected,” said Gov. Greg Abbott prior to signing the bill.
“This means that cities can impose new regulations and higher taxes on Texans who purposefully choose to live outside of city limits.
“It’s a form of taxation without representation, and it will not be tolerated in Texas.
“HB 347 ends forced annexation statewide. I want to recognize and thank State Reps Phil King and Cecil Bell, as well as State Senators Brian Birdwell and Donna Campbell for their tireless efforts in making sure that this bill got to my desk,” said Abbott.
State Rep. King’s bill, House Bill 347, went a step further than Senate Bill 6, which stopped forced annexation in Texas’ 10 largest counties.
“Today’s bill signing has been over two years in the making,” said King.
“When citizens and lawmakers work hand in hand, big things can be accomplished.
“This new statute will protect landowners for decades to come.”
The campaign to end forced annexation started in Parker County, Texas, when the Stop Involuntary Annexation group got a proposition on the Nov. 6, 2018 ballot to give the County Tier 2 Status and ending forced annexation.
“It seems like just yesterday that I was standing before the Weatherford City Council pleading our case for Zion Hill. After all of our dedicated hard work, I felt honored to be present as Gov. Abbott signed HB 347, effectively siding with Zion Hill and all other small communities in Texas who didn’t have a voice before today,” said Stop Involuntary Annexation’s Vice President Nathan Vick.
“Everything that happened today happened because of a small community homeschool mom. She would not take no for an answer, and every small town person in the state of Texas who lives outside of a city limits owes Laura Hester a huge thank you.
“She is the reason all of this came to fruition,” said Vick.
Hester, Stop Involuntary Annexation’s president, said she is excited that the group got to play a major role in getting HB 347 through the legislature.
“It’s pretty awesome, and I can’t believe it started in Zion Hill. We’ve gone all the way through to getting the bill signed,” said Hester.
“Other counties were facing the same thing just right after we were because SB 6 was going into effect. A lot of cities thought they needed to hurry up and annex property, and it just kind of grew from there.
“I had people calling me from all across the state about how we fought our annexation — what we did and how we did it.
“It took two years, but we finally got it and I’m very excited that we got to play a major part in that,” Hester said.
Stop Involuntary Annexation group member Dedra Vick said it was an honor to be there in person to see Gov. Abbott sign HB 347.
“It was such an honor to get invited, and be there in person to see Gov. Abbott sign HB 347 into law. It’s surreal to think that this idea to stop forced annexation all started with our little Zion Hill community,” Vick said.
“The numbers of citizens against forced annexation across Texas were staggeringly high. This meant so much to me because it’s not every day that I get to be with my son and the governor of Texas, and watch history being made in Texas,” Vick said.
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Source: Texas Politics