More Informative Plans of Services: Making Annexation Attractive

Before a city can annex any territory, it must propose and adopt a plan of services that explains to residents what services they will receive and provides a reasonable schedule for when they will receive them.  Current law does not require plans of services to include information about cities’ financial ability to implement them.  As originally written, the bills that became Public Chapter 462, Acts of 2013 (Senate Bill 1054 by Kelsey, House Bill 1263 by Carr, D.) would have required this information, but the provisions were removed before the bill passed.  Residents in areas proposed for annexation often believe cities will not implement their plans of services and, therefore, oppose annexation, which may make it difficult or impossible to pass a referendum.  In order to demonstrate their ability to serve residents of the area proposed for annexation, cities should provide sufficient information to demonstrate their financial ability to implement the plan of services proposed.  Current notice and public hearing requirements are adequate.