Q. What is the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) and how is the ETJ determined?
A. The ETJ of a municipality is the unincorporated area that is contiguous to the corporate boundaries of the municipality. The City of Texarkana’s ETJ extends 2 miles beyond the city boundaries and includes all unincorporated territory that is not located in another city’s ETJ. The Texas Legislature declares it the policy of the state to designate certain areas as the extraterritorial jurisdiction of municipalities to promote and protect the general health, safety, and welfare of persons residing in and adjacent to the municipalities.
Q. What authority does the City have in the ETJ?
A. The City holds authority over development standards in the ETJ through its Subdivision Ordinance, may provide services and may annex property within the ETJ.
Q. Will the City provide services if my property is annexed?
A. Yes, the City is required to prepare a service plan to provide for the extension of municipal services to the areas being annexed. Municipal service plans for each proposed annexation area can be found here: http://ci.texarkana.tx.us/134/Planning-Community-Development.
Q. Do I have to connect to water and sewer?
A. Yes, residents inside the city limits are required to connect to water and sewer services within 6 months of the City providing access by ordinance. Texarkana Water Utilities will send out notices when services are provided and work with property owners as needed.
Based on the current annexation service plans, exceptions may be granted if applicable for the following reasons: individuals over the age of 65, homes over 300 feet from a service line, aerobic treatment system in proper working condition and additional time up to 1 year to connect. For property specific questions, please contact Texarkana Water Utilities at 903-798-3800.
Q. Can I conduct an outdoor open burn if I am annexed into the City?
A. No, residential outdoor open burning is currently not allowed. However, staff will prepare an ordinance for consideration within the next 6 months to permit limited residential burning inside the city limits with the approval of the Fire Department.
Q. Are recreational fires in chimineas, or other types of outdoor fireplaces allowed?
A. Yes, recreational fires are allowed within the City without a permit; however, there are some rules that apply. Please see the City of Texarkana Code of Ordinances section 18.14(c-h) for rules associated with recreational outdoor burning.
Q. How will annexation affect my property taxes?
A. City property taxes are assessed by the Bowie Central Appraisal District after annexation and added to the City’s tax rolls Jan 1st of each year. The City Council adopts a new tax rate each fall. The current tax rate in Texarkana is $0.700 per $100 assessed value. As an example, city taxes would be approximately $700 on a $100,000 home.
Property taxes will vary depending on exemptions and other factors. To determine property taxes, please call Bowie Central Appraisal District at 903-793-8836.
Q. My property is currently classified as Agricultural, Timber Production, or Wildlife Management for appraisal purposes. Will I lose this classification because of annexation?
A. No, current appraisals recognizing an Agricultural, Timber Production, or Wildlife Management exemption will continue after annexation as long as the land continues to be used for the Agricultural, Timber Production or Wildlife Management purposes and such use in not changed by the property owner. Please note that classification of land for appraised value is not a function of the City of Texarkana, Texas. Specific questions regarding classification of your property should be addressed to the Bowie Central Appraisal District at 903-793-8936.
Q. After annexation, what type of permits will I need for work around my home or business?
A. Permits are generally required for all new construction, remodels, renovations or enlargements. Permits are also required for repairs or replacement of the parts of a building related to maintenance of structural integrity and systems related to mechanical, electrical, or plumbing. General maintenance projects such as painting, carpeting, wallpapering, replacing or adding cabinets, and trim work are considered cosmetic and do not require a permit. After annexation, the Building Permits & Inspections team with the City is a good resource for this question. They can be contacted at 903-798-3912. More information is also available at https://www.ci.texarkana.tx.us/146/Inspections.
Common permits that are required are:
- Building permit for installation, addition, renovation of a structure including accessory buildings
- Plumbing permit for installation of any plumbing including a new water heater
- Mechanical permit for any HVAC work
- Electrical permit for any electrical work completed
Q. Will annexation prevent me from keeping livestock on my property or continuing an established business?
A. No, generally speaking lawful uses in existence prior to annexation, including the proper keeping of livestock are allowed to continue. These uses will need to be documented with the City and additional rules may apply to prohibited animals. Ordinances pertaining to health and safety, i.e. registration, keeping of vicious animals, dogs running at large, etc., will apply upon annexation. Please familiarize yourself with city ordinances at https://library.municode.com/tx/texarkana/codes/code_of_ordinances.
Q. Will I be able to continue the current use of my property (grandfathered) after annexation?
A. 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; however, if a non-conforming use ceases to operate, future uses will be required to conform to appropriate zoning specifications.
Q. What is zoning and how will this affect my property?
A. Cities use zoning as a tool to guide the growth and transition of properties inside its city limits. Each zoning category is given certain property uses that are allowed “by right” or allowed with special approval by City Council, or some uses that are specifically prohibited. Zoning categories are assigned in accordance with a comprehensive plan for the purpose of promoting the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the city, and for the protection and preservation of places and areas of historical and cultural importance and significance. When your property is annexed, it will be temporarily zoned as “SF-2, Single Family 2” and within one year convert to a permanent zoning unless rezoned to a new classification.
Q. How will annexation affect law enforcement and fire protection services?
A. Once your property has been annexed, emergency response services will be provided by the City of Texarkana Police Department (TTPD) and Texarkana Texas Fire Department (TTFD).
Q. Will annexation affect existing easements along public roads?
A. No. Easements acquired by the County and/or State will remain in effect. Additionally, any private access easements existing on the property will not affected and responsibility for maintenance easements is retained by the property owner.
Q. How will trash disposal be handled if my property is annexed?
A. Residential and commercial refuse service is provided by Waste Management. For residential accounts, service includes 96 Gallon Waste Container, 65 Gallon Recycling Container, 1 Bulk Item weekly (ex. Sofa), unlimited properly bagged yard waste weekly (ex. paper bags, cardboard boxes or personal container) and free disposal at the New Boston Landfill with proof of residence utility bill. The refuse collection day for proposed areas 3 and 4 is Wednesday. The refuse collection day for proposed areas 1,2,5,6 and 7 is Thursday.
Residential accounts are billed through Texarkana Water Utilities at 903-798-3800. Commercial accounts are billed directly through Waste Management at 903-794-4112 Ext. 2.
Q. How will annexation affect my use of fireworks on the property?
A. Fireworks are prohibited inside the city limits of Texarkana, Texas. This does not apply to a public retail fireworks business in existence at the time the location of the business is annexed, provided the business acquires a permit from the office of the fire marshal within 90 days from the date of annexation. This permit may be issued for a three-year period.
Q. How will annexation affect my use of firearms on the property?
A. This is addressed in Section 28-6 which states: the discharge of any firearm or air gun at any time within the corporate limits of the city is prohibited, except that which is necessary and lawful for the protection of one's person, premises or property.
This section of the ordinance does not apply to a shooting gallery, gunsmith establishment or an authorized indoor pistol and rifle range, when the same is properly fitted and arranged for the purpose of discharging firearms so that no danger arises therefrom.
More information can be obtained by calling the Texarkana Texas Police Department at 903-798-3116 or at www.texarkanapolice.net.
Q. How do I review current City ordinances and regulations?
A. All city ordinances are available online at https://library.municode.com/tx/texarkana/codes/code_of_ordinances or in person at 220 Texas Blvd., 4th Floor, or by phone at 903-798-3900. If you have a specific question about how current regulations affect your property, please contact city staff.