Tag Archives: TACIR

TACIR makes recommends changes to TN annexation laws

A state policy study group recommends further changes in Tennessee’s municipal annexation laws after last year’s landmark passage of a law requiring approval by impacted residents before towns and cities can annex new territory, reports the Commercial Appeal.

The Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR), headed by a board of state and local officials, issued its report Friday. Its recommendations to the state legislature include:

* Allowing cities to annex land not adjacent to the city, to support economic development, without annexing those in between who don’t want to be taken into the city.

* Developing a less costly alternative to public referendums, while preserving the 2014 law’s mandate requiring consent of residents of the proposed annexation area, such as petitions.

* Allowing nonresidents who own land in the area proposed for annexation to participate in the decision.

* Requiring the state-mandated county-wide growth plans to be reviewed and updated. The plans were required by another landmark law, the 1998 growth planning act, and are now more than ten years old.

* Clarifying what constitutes agricultural land for purposes of annexation. The 2014 annexation law prohibits cities from annexing “property used primarily for agricultural purposes” without written consent of owners but doesn’t define the meaning precisely.

* Legislative consideration of other issues, including cities’ plans of services for annexed areas.

Note: The full report is HERE.

TACIR recommends extending annexation moratorium

Split over a proposal to require public votes on municipal annexations, a state panel this week recommended that Tennessee lawmakers extend a state moratorium on adversarial annexations for a year, reports Andy Sher.

The Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations OK’d the recommendation last week as its members — comprising legislators and city and county mayors — bogged down on a variety of thorny issues.

Lawmakers last session passed the moratorium on cities’ forced annexations of residential and farm property and asked TACIR to study annexation and related matters under the state’s landmark Urban Growth Planning Act. The ban doesn’t apply to annexations of commercial and industrial property or cases where property owners seek to come into a town or city.

The moratorium resulted from legislation sponsored by Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah, and Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Bo Watson, R-Hixson. Their bill requires public referendum votes on nonconsensual residential and farm annexations. Under the 1998 growth act, cities must hold referendums on property they seek to annex outside their growth boundaries. But inside the boundaries, cities may annex simply by passing an ordinance.

Towns and cities mobilized last session and opposed Carter’s and Watson’s bill, charging it would harm cities by making it harder to annex property key to economic growth. Carter and Watson argued residents should have a say-so when cities come after their property.

Despite TACIR’s vote, Carter said he intends to renew his push in the Legislature next month.
“They can beat me, but they’re going to have to do it in front of God and everybody,” the lawmaker said.

During Wednesday’s meeting, TACIR members debated changes in the Urban Growth Planning Act, which required cities to file plans showing where they might annex over the next 20 years.
Cities say the law has worked well. Critics differ. In punting the issue to TACIR, lawmakers placed a moratorium on certain annexations until May 15, 2014. TACIR wants an extension to May 15, 2015.

Norris Reelected TACIR Chair

News release from Senate Republican Caucus:
(NASHVILLE, Tenn.), June 20, 2013 — Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) has been reelected Chairman of the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR). The election took place during a two-day meeting of the commission in Nashville on June 19 and 20. Norris has served as Chairman since 2009 and begins his third two-year term.
“I appreciate the confidence that the members have placed in me to serve another term in this leadership role, ” said Senator Norris. “I look forward to continuing to build strong relationships between state, municipal and county governments and to work on solutions to substantive issues that we face together as Tennesseans.”
The General Assembly approved legislation this year directing TACIR to conduct a comprehensive study on annexation and make recommendations to the General Assembly on how to improve the process statewide. Their report is due in January. “This study requires in-depth research by the staff and thoughtful consideration by the members of the commission. I am pleased to continue to lead TACIR as we look into this issue as well as many others.”
TACIR began in 1978 after legislative findings indicated the need for a permanent intergovernmental body to study and take action on questions of organizational patterns, powers, functions, and relationships among federal, state and local governments. The 25-member group is made up of public officials from state, county and municipal governments as well as private citizens. Mayor Tom Roland of Cleveland, TN, was reelected to serve as Vice-Chairman.
Senator Norris has served as Tennessee’s Senate Majority Leader since 2007. He is Chair-elect of the Council of State Governments, a national organization which also fosters and encourages intergovernmental cooperation.

Harry Green Retires at TACIR; Succeded by Lynnisse Roehrich-Patrick

News release from TACIR:
NASHVILLE–Dr. Harry A. Green has retired his post as executive director of the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) after 39 years of service to the State of Tennessee.
Dr. Green began his career with the State in 1978 as Chief of Research and Statistics for the Office of the Comptroller of the Treasury and was appointed executive director of TACIR in 1981.
 The Commission was created in 1978 in response to legislative findings indicating the need for a permanent intergovernmental body to study and take action on questions of organizational patterns, powers, functions, and relationships among federal, state, and local governments. It was initially staffed by the Comptroller’s Office, the State Planning Office, and the Office of Legal Services. The Commission has served as a source of expertise to state and local officials and has been instrumental in improving education funding, local planning, industrial development, emergency communications, and the administration of the property tax.

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