About 2,500 residents could become city residents in 2025, based on an annexation request put forward by Locust Grove. The city is asking the state legislators to sponsor a legislative annexation. The annexation would ”fill-in” the city limits.
If the state assembly approves the request, then voters in the proposed area would see the question on their ballot later this year. The ballot question would be in November 2024.
Locust Grove Annexation Request
Locust Grove council members voted 5-1 (Boone opposed) to request the legislative annexation. The council considered the item at their January 2 meeting. The council had discussed the possible annexation on several occasions off-and-on during 2023.
State legislators must sponsor the bill during this year’s general assembly session for it to move forward. State representative Lauren Daniel and state senator Rick Williams represent the city. The annual session began this month and continues through March.
The annexation request has two parts. They include the following:
- Annex (shown in blue) — this area, generally west of I-75, would automatically join the city limits if state lawmakers approve it. This is because less than 500 residents live within the area. About 130 residents live in the area.
- Annex1 (shown in pink) — this area, including residents on Indian Creek Road and Locust Road, would vote in November whether to join the city. About 2,300 residents reside in this area.
If both proposals go through and voters approve the second request, then Locust Grove would have a population of about 11,500 starting next year. The city had 8,947 residents as of the 2020 census.
City Services & Taxes
If voters approve the annexation, then they would begin to receive city services. In addition, their property tax bill would be lower, based on 2023 millage rates. Finally, they could vote for the mayor and council in city elections.
Locust Grove provides police service, code enforcement, and planning & zoning, among others. Presently, residents in the proposed area receive services from Henry County. Fire & EMS service would continue to be from the county.
Regarding property taxes, city residents paid a lower millage rate in 2023. They paid an overall millage rate of 35.903 mills last year. By comparison, unincorporated residents paid 38.361 mills. About two-thirds of property taxes go to the school board.
The difference between the city and county millage rates, 2.458 mills, amounts to a tax savings of $246 for a property valued at $250 thousand dollars.
Also worth noting, in 2022, city voters approved a 100% homestead exemption. This exempts homeowners from any city property tax, both now and in the future.
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Representative Daniel and Senator Williams will now consider the city’s request for a legislative annexation. If they introduce a bill, then lawmakers have until the end of March to approve it. The governor’s signature is also required. Voters would then consider the ballot question in November.
Featured image shows a map of the Locust Grove annexation request. Locust Grove photo.