Lawsuit against Tryon annexation could get court date in June

Published 2:10 pm Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The town has said the annexation, which would provide substantial property tax revenue, is needed to ensure the town&39;s long-term financial stability. Town officials note the town has seen very limited growth in its current tax base, but the cost of providing services continues to climb.

Opponents of the annexation have argued the town should not be permitted to annex the area involuntarily and residents in the annexation area will not gain enough in town services to warrant paying town taxes.

Opponents also have argued the town should rescind the annexation to avoid more legal costs to defend it in court.

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This lawsuit may not be settled before Tryon has a new town council in place. Filing for the 2009 municipal election begins July 3 at noon and ends July 17. Up for re-election this year are Mayor Alan Peoples and councilmen Jim Scott and Dennis Durham. Councilmen Roy Miller and Austin Chapman each won four year terms in 2007. Chapman was the only council member to vote against the annexation last year.

Annexation may be a key issue in the town&39;s election this year. If candidates opposed to the annexation are elected, it&39;s possible the new council could move to rescind the annexation before the lawsuit is resolved in court.

There are also bills filed for consideration in the N.C. legislature currently, including several against involuntary annexation. Some proposals have suggested county commissioners should have a say in a town&squo;s attempt to involuntarily annex residents because county officials represent both town and township residents.