Smiths Station Council: First petition for de-annexation comes before the city council

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By Denise DuBois

The city of Smiths Station received its first petition for de-annexation during its July 10 city council meeting. Charles Glenn Harper, who lives on Lee Road 243, petitioned the city to de-annex his property.

“I want it to stay in Lee County. Not that I’m against the city or the city limits, I just don’t want my land rezoned without my authority,” Harper told the council.

In March, the governor signed a bill allowing Smiths Station to annex partial properties into the city. The bill affected 184 tracts of land from 170 property owners.

Harper cited the cost of trash pick-up and property taxes, specifically a 5 mil ad valorem tax, as reasons he did not want his property inside the city limits.

“I appreciate all the work y’all do, but if you could get by with leaving my land out of it, I’d thank you very much,” Harper said.

Smiths Station Mayor F.L. “Bubba” Copeland informed Harper that the money he was paying to Lee County for trash pick-up would instead be paid to Smiths Station and the ad valorem tax wouldn’t affect him until 2020.

The annexation committee met before the meeting and gave a recommendation to deny the petition for de-annexation. The council approved the recommendation unanimously.

The ad valorem tax won’t be added to annexed properties until 2020. The tax was approved by the city council in April in an effort to bring $150,000 to $200,000 to the city for improvements like sewage services.