NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 21, 2013 – Yesterday Governor Bill Haslam signed into law Senate Bill 1054, sponsored by State Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown), that is designed to protect residents of newly annexed territories from unfair taxes. The bill clarifies that cities may not assess property taxes until January 1 after an annexation has occurred. This legislation will ensure that the residents of South Cordova, who were annexed in July 2012, do not owe 2012 property taxes to the city of Memphis, as the city has claimed.
“This law ensures that South Cordova residents are free from taxation without representation,” stated Senator Kelsey.
The change in the law was necessary because annexation statutes did not foresee so many annexations ending in lawsuits. Under prior law, annexation occurred automatically thirty-one days after a court had filed its final order, whether that date were convenient to the parties or not. As enacted, this law accomplishes three changes to help both residents and municipalities. First, the law prohibits property tax assessments until the following January 1 after a court order. Second, it allows municipalities to postpone annexation until December 31 if they so choose. Third, the law requires municipalities to mail notices to all annexed residents within ten days of a court order effecting annexation. Unfortunately, most South Cordova residents did not discover that they had been annexed until they had read it in the news.