Where cities continue to use corridor annexation to support economic development, cities and counties need to work together to agree on the most effective way to serve developments in outlying areas.
While Public Chapter 707 settled the issue of non-consensual annexation, establishing consent as the basis for all annexations in Tennessee, its passage raised some new questions and left others unresolved.
With the passage of the Growth Policy Act, growth plans with defined boundaries for annexation and incorporation were required in all counties without metropolitan governments.
City residents and residents outside the cities are often not informed about how cities will pay for the services, what the tax consequences will be, or what service charges will result from the extension of services.
Annexations drawn with irregular boundaries to include certain properties or infrastructure and exclude others have created confusion for residents and landowners.
Landowners who do not live in the area proposed for annexation cannot participate in the referendum held in that area.
Deannexation can create conflict and confusion both for residents and landowners and for the cities and counties responsible for serving them.
A Closer Look at Annexation in Tennessee
The 108th General Assembly eliminated unilateral, nonconsensual annexation with the enactment of Public Chapter 707, Acts of 2014, and strengthened the annexation moratorium established by Public Chapter 441, Acts of 2013. The 2014 Act extended the review of state policies governing comprehensive growth plans and changes in municipal boundaries begun by Public Chapter 441 on which the Commission released an interim report in December 2013.
Cities can annex property only with the written consent of the owner or by referendum. Cities can annex agricultural land only with written consent of the owner.
Note: Content found in the pages below may differ slightly from the Commission’s January 2015 report, “Municipal Boundaries in Tennessee: Annexation and Growth Planning Policies after Public Chapter 707.” Revisions have been made to update the web page content as needed since the report was published. Where differences exist, consider the current web page to be the more accurate source of information.