The extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) is the unincorporated land within 5 miles of Austin’s full purpose city limit not within the city limits or ETJ of another city. Austin’s ETJ currently extends into 5 counties including Williamson, Travis, Hays, Bastrop & Caldwell and is the territory where Austin alone is authorized to annex land. Annexation is the process by which cities extend their municipal services, regulations, voting privileges & taxing authority to new territory.
The ETJ represents Austin’s future tax base & municipal service area, ensuring our ability to capture our fair share of regional growth. The City has limited regulations in the ETJ where development is occurring at a rapid rate affecting the quality of life within the City. By expanding the territory subject to city ordinances, regulations and codes, annexation improves the city’s economic base and enables Austin to manage growth & development.
In accordance with the City’s annexation policies described in the Imagine Austin comprehensive plan, the City should annex areas in order to:
- Apply zoning and development standards, including environmental protection
- Create efficiencies in service delivery, particularly for public safety services
- Maximize the return on the City’s investment in infrastructure and business incentives
- Protect and expand the tax base
- Provide municipal services beyond those available in rural areas
Municipal annexations must follow the procedures outlined by the Texas Local Government Code. Annexation laws and procedures were changed significantly effective December 1, 2017. Please call staff for more information.