During the May 4 local elections, voters in Ellis and Montague counties in North Texas overwhelmingly approved REALTOR®-supported propositions to end forced municipal annexation in those counties.
- Ellis County Prop A passed with 86.89% approval.
- Montague County Prop A voters passed with 91% approval.
By voting for these propositions, voters changed their counties from Tier 1 to Tier 2 counties. In Tier 2 counties, municipalities wishing to annex property must seek voter approval in the area to be annexed. Municipalities in Tier 1 counties are not required to seek such voter approval before annexing property; however, residents of Tier 1 counties may petition to vote to become Tier 2.
REALTOR® and Montague County property owner Melody Gillespie helped lead her county’s successful campaign.
“Protecting private property rights and our right to vote goes straight to our hearts as REALTORS® to advocate for property owners. We were on the right side of the issue encouraging people not to give up their vote—it’s simply un-Texan,” she said.
In Ellis County, property owner Louis Ponder also coordinated campaign efforts in partnership with local REALTORS® to end forced annexation in their county.
“Voters agree that we deserve a say in whether our property is annexed,” Ponder said. “No one should lose the opportunity to have their voice heard through their vote.”
Last year, Texas REALTORS® successfully engaged in “Vote For Tier 2” campaigns on the ballot in six Tier 1 counties (Atascosa, Freestone, Johnson, Parker, Palo Pinto, and Wise), ending the ability for municipalities in these counties to annex property without voter approval.
The landslide results of these elections to stop forced annexation should send a strong message to legislators in Austin, where a proposal is under consideration that would eliminate the process of forced annexation statewide.