LAWSUIT: Annexation case heads to court

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

February 12, 2015

A request by the City of Brownsville to dismiss an annexation lawsuit filed by Port Isabel was denied Tuesday morning in a Cameron County district court. The disputing parties now have a month to come to terms for new city limits to avoid trial. If no agreement is made during this mediation and Brownsville’s annexation is found to be illegal, it would likely result in the city’s boundaries to be reverted back to its status in 2001. This outcome is potentially significant to all areas outside this limit than have been taxed by the Rio Grande Valley’s largest city.

“[State District Judge Janet Leal] recognizes that if Brownsville’s city limits are rolled back, it will have a substantial effect on the taxpayers in those areas who can then make claims for refunds,” said Port Isabel City Attorney Robert Collins. “What we need to do in the meantime is look at where we want to negotiate a boundary. So our west and our south sides—we need to look at those lands and decide where we would like to get to an agreement to roll back their annexation.”

Port Isabel argues that Brownsville unlawfully annexed strips of land surrounding Port Isabel in 2001 and 2002, leaving them essentially landlocked. Port Isabel was the lone city within Brownsville’s claimed annexation that never signed an agreement.

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