State lawmakers have tentatively voted to block two municipal annexations and postpone a third. The group of House bills are part of a broader effort to reform involuntary annexations on the books for more than 50 years. The trend is spurred by constituents who don't like paying higher taxes and city fees when their county properties are annexed by neighboring municipalities.
The first measure passed by House lawmakers would prevent the city of Rocky Mount from annexing the Oak Level community. The next would postpone the annexation of a Wilmington neighborhood until 2013, and the third measure would repeal Asheville's annexation of Biltmore Lake. The Senate has already passed a broad measure that would place a moratorium on annexations. Right now the bill is in a House committee. House Speaker Thom Tillis, has said he is guardedly optimistic that comprehensive annexation reforms will be passed this year.