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Summary: Currently, large cities have power to annex nearby lands or neighborhoods designated as Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). Residents of ETJs have no power to refuse annexation. Additionally, cities are able to prevent other municipalities from annexing the ETJ. If annexed, an the area annexed would pay the municipality's tax rate and receive emergency and utility services from that municipality within the time required by current law.
HB 397 would allow the ETJ of San Antonio Ranch located near both San Antonio and Helotes to be annexed by the city of Helotes.
Analysis: The city of Helotes and the community of San Antonio Ranch support Helotes' annexation of San Antonio Ranch. The city of San Antonio opposes the annexation. HB 397 limits government by reducing the decision to the lowest appropriate level of government and increases personal liberty and personal property rights by allowing citizens of San Antonio Ranch to have a voice in the annexation issue. We encourage legislators to support HB 397.
Amendment Recommendation: This may set a precedent for one municipality to annex part of another municipalities’ ETJ if that municipality is not pursuing annexation. If this precedent is to be set up, it needs to allow the residents of the ETJ to vote on the question of which municipality will provide them with better services. This will allow the residents to have a voice in the process and prevent the accepting municipality from infringing on another municipality's ETJ by simple passage of a resolution.