1. Why is my property under consideration for annexation?
The Belton City Council is studying four areas to evaluate the appropriateness of annexation. Some reasons annexation may be considered include those listed below. One or more may apply.
(1) Plan Implementation – areas are part of the City’s growth management plan and strategy.
(2) Development – areas have development relationships linked to the City’s future growth.
(3) Land Use Compatibility – areas have a close relationship to City roads, investments, facilities, and services.
(4) Infrastructure Investment – areas may benefit from the City’s utility system improvements.
(5) Service Extensions – areas may benefit from the City’s systematic extension of services and facilities.
(6) Standards/Authority – areas may benefit from the extension of City standards and authority appropriate for an urbanizing area.
(7) Petition – area has been submitted for voluntary annexation.
(8) Development Agreement Trigger – a signed development agreement may have been triggered by property owner action.
(9) Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) – areas fall within Belton’s one mile ETJ. ETJ is extended with annexation unless blocked by another jurisdiction.
(10) Voting Privileges/Taxing Authority – areas receive City voting privileges and share with other City residents and businesses in paying for available and/or anticipated City services.
2. What City services will be extended to annexed areas?
(1) City strategic and long range comprehensive planning
(2) City parks, recreation, and library services
(3) Home and business inspections
(4) City police department response and services, as well as these services on request:
(B) Neighborhood watch
(5) City Fire Department and EMS response and services, as well as these services on request:
(A) courtesy inspections
(B) education programs
(C) business inspections
(6) City public health, building, zoning, and safety codes
(7) City garbage, brush, bulky waste collection, as well as hazardous waste collections.
(8) City street and storm drainage maintenance
(9) Inclusion in the City’s Capital Improvement Planning process for future infrastructure.
3. What are the rates for municipal services?
4. What is the City's tax rate?
The City’s tax rate for 2017-2018 is 65.98 cents per $100 in property tax value.
5. Will being in the City limits affect my property value? Will properties be reappraised?
Annexation is unlikely to affect property values, but specific questions regarding the appraised value of your property should be addressed to the Tax Appraisal District of Bell County (TADBC) at 254-939-5841.
6. My property is currently classified as Agricultural, Timber Harvest, or Wildlife Management for appraisal purposes per the Tax Appraisal District of Bell County. Will I lose this classification because of annexation?
No. Current appraisals recognizing an Agricultural, Timber Harvest, or Wildlife Management exemption will continue after annexation as long as the land continues to be used for the Agricultural, Timber Harvest, or Wildlife Management purposes and such use is not changed by the property owner per the Tax Appraisal District of Bell County (TADBC). Please note, however, that the classification of land for agricultural purposes is not a function of the city. Specific questions regarding the classification of your property should be directed to the Tax Appraisal District.
Any property with a current Tax Appraisal District classification for Agricultural, Timber Harvest, or Wildlife Management is eligible for a Development Agreement that would defer annexation under certain conditions. Please see Draft Development Agreement.
7. Will taxes be applied at 100% of the City tax rate, in addition to the Bell County rate, and applicable School District tax rate?
The State legislature does not permit any proration of taxes. The City’s tax rate would be applied on the value of property annexed into the city limits as of January 1, 2018, as determined by the Tax Appraisal District of Bell County. If partially annexed, only that portion annexed would be taxed. The City does not control, nor influence appraisals. Bell County and School District taxes will be unaffected by annexation.
8. Does the City have an over 65 and/or disabled tax exemption?
Yes, the City has an over 65 and disabled exemption of $10,000, subject to application and approval by the TADBC.
9. Will my School District boundary change if my property is annexed?
No. School District Boundaries are independent of city limit boundaries.
10. Can I still burn trash/debris/brush if my property is annexed?
If a Bell County burn ban is in effect, no burning of any kind is allowed anywhere in the County. The City has adopted the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ) rules for a controlled burn of brush. A permit is required to be obtained from the Belton Fire Department. There are distance limitations to nearby structures, as well as weather and site conditions that must be observed. Burning trash and construction debris is not allowed in the City.
11. Can I retain my existing trash hauling contract?
Yes, if you have an existing contract for trash hauling you can retain it for up to two years after annexation. When you stop your private hauling service, the City service will be extended to your property, upon your request. City service includes once a week garbage collections, recycling every two weeks, and bulk collections.
12. Can I discharge fireworks in the city limits?
13. Can I hunt, shoot guns, shotguns and rifles, and protect my property from dangerous animals, if my property is annexed?
In conformance with existing State law, Chapter 42 in the Penal Code, and the Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 62, the discharge of firearms will continue to be allowed under certain conditions. The primary issue involves your ability to ensure safety to properties and persons as a result of tract size and distance, and avoidance of recklessness and dangerous or deadly conduct.
Also, the 2005 State Legislature added a provision to the Local Government Code, 229.002, Regulation of Discharge of Weapon, which indicates a City may not adopt a regulation on property annexed after September 1, 1981, if the firearm or weapon is:
(1) a shotgun, air rifle or pistol, BB gun, or bow and arrow discharged:
(A) on a tract of land of 10 acres or more and more than 150 feet from a residence or occupied building located on another property; and
(B) in a manner not reasonably expected to cause a projectile to cross the boundary of the tract; or
(2) a center fire or rim fire rifle or pistol of any caliber discharged:
(A) on a tract of land of 50 acres or more and more than 300 feet from a residence or occupied building located on another property; and
(B) in a manner not reasonably expected to cause a projectile to cross the boundary of the tract.
14. Is the City required to extend full municipal services to my property if annexed?
State annexation law discusses the extension of services to annexed property and requires development of a municipal services plan for all annexed properties. However, the law does not require that a uniform level of full municipal services be provided to each location if different characteristics of topography, land use, and population density constitute a sufficient basis for providing different levels of service.
Some Examples When Different Service Levels Are Allowed:
Existing Water Supply Corporations (WSC) remain responsible for water service until their service area is released to the City. The City is not allowed to modify existing water lines or services without WSC approval.
Areas with different topography, land use, and population density may constitute a sufficient basis for providing different levels of service. A subdivision or area generally served by septic systems does not require sewer extension if there are areas currently in the City with similar conditions of on-site wastewater treatment.
Private roads remain the responsibility of private property owners unless properly improved, dedicated to, and accepted by the City.
15. If utilities – water and sewer, for example – are extended, will I be required to tie on to them?
Connection of existing development to extended utilities will be subject to codes and ordinances adopted by the City Council.
16. Should I be concerned about the exercise of the power of eminent domain by the City?
An eminent domain acquisition of property by a city is possible for a legitimate public purpose, like a street, but this activity is limited and regulated by State law. An appraisal must occur and just compensation must be paid if eminent domain is used to acquire property.
17. Will the cost for my homeowner's or business fire insurance be less inside the City limits?
Residences and businesses inside the City limits benefit from a favorable fire insurance rating that may be reflected in lower insurance premiums. Please check with your insurance agent for confirmation.
18. Can I continue running livestock and operating a livestock business on my property if annexed?
Yes, subject to codes and ordinances adopted by the City Council.
19. Can I continue the full range of agricultural uses on my property, including crop spraying?
Yes. Agricultural land uses will be allowed, subject to codes and ordinances adopted by the City Council. Upon annexation, all property will be zoned Agricultural (A) until changed by owner request.
20. Will my existing land use be grandfathered if my property is annexed?
As a general rule, any use that lawfully existed prior to annexation can continue after annexation. However, there are a few exceptions for uses such as sexually-oriented businesses, storage of hazardous substances, and the sale of fireworks. Following annexation, a lawful nonconforming (grandfathered) use may not expand without permission from the City. A change of ownership does not affect a grandfathered status.
Land uses in the annexation study areas include residential, churches, offices, commercial, storage, and industrial uses. A change in use will require compliance with the zoning code. The principal exception to grandfathering of existing uses involve health and safety requirements which will be enforced.
21. How will the City's Code Enforcement standards be applied on newly annexed property?
Application of the City’s code enforcement standards will be reasonable and compassionate in recognizing recent annexation and varying site conditions. Code Enforcement efforts can acknowledge the difference between tall grass/weeds in a typical residential subdivision, in contrast to tall grass/weeds on a 5, 10, 25-plus acre tract. The City’s objective in code enforcement involves ensuring public health, public safety, and mitigation of serious nuisance matters for Belton residents.
22. The City has many ordinances – is it possible to get copies of those and a list of services provided by the City?
23. Do I need a building permit to build on my property or to make repairs to existing structures?
As with other cities, Belton requires permitting and inspection of construction in order to protect consumers from potentially poor construction practices, health and safety hazards, and financial issues that could result from substandard construction. In newly annexed areas, minor building maintenance does not require building permits, but major repairs and new items like re-roofs and new buildings do require permits to ensure the quality of work. No permit is required for fence repair, but is required for a new fence. Please review the City’s Fees Ordinance for required permits. If there is a Development Agreement for the property, an improvement to the property that may remove an existing exemption and may result in annexation. Questions regarding building permits should be directed to the Belton Planning Department at 254-933-5812.
24. Would annexation affect existing easements along public roads?
No. Easements acquired by the County and/or the State will remain in effect.
25. Does annexation affect deed restrictions?
No. Deed restrictions are not impacted by annexation and would continue to apply in the same manner as they currently apply to the property. The City does not have the authority to enforce deed restrictions unless the City owns property that is subject to the same deed restrictions.
26. Would annexation affect common area ownership? Would private areas remain private after annexation?
Private roads, lakes, and designated home owner association (HOA) common areas would remain private after annexation.
27. Helpful Phone Numbers
The following are some phone numbers that might be needed:
Police Department (non-emergency)
Fire Department (non-emergency)
Planning Department (zoning, platting, building, inspections)
Public Works (streets, drainage, water, sewer)
Utility Billing (water and sewer)
28. If my property is annexed, on what date would the annexation become effective?
The current schedule includes a final action date of November 28, 2017.
29. Where can I find out more about annexation and the state law governing annexation?
More information about annexation and the state law governing annexation can be found in the Local Government Code, Chapter 43.