Annexation bill back with a new sponsor
State Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, is backing a bill that would establish new voter approval requirements before the annexation of property by local taxing districts.
House Bill 2637‘s lead sponsor: Democratic Rep. Monica Stonier of Vancouver.
An odd alliance? Perhaps. But it’s no surprise that Benton would throw his support behind the bill. It’s a revised version of a bill Benton himself introduced last year.
But Stonier’s version, co-sponsored by Republican Reps. Brandon Vick and Paul Harris, both of Vancouver, appears tailor-made for Clark County. The bill applies in “counties that have 400,000 or more residents and are bordered by the Columbia River.”
Yep, that’s us.
Benton’s original bill sparked from a long-simmering conflict between the city of Battle Ground and residents of Brush Prairie. The two sides have clashed over the annexation of land near a handful of unincorporated neighborhoods.
“It’s not right for property owners to be swept into taxing district without agreement from a majority of the voters who would be affected,” Benton said in a released statement this week.
Benton testified in favor of the bill during a committee hearing on Thursday.
“Rep. Stonier has done a great job of working with the local communities involved to help improve this bill and move it through the legislative process in a bipartisan manner,” Benton said.
The bill remains in the House Committee on Local Government.