List of U.S. county secession proposals
This is a list of county secession proposals in the United States; that is, proposed new counties to be formed from existing counties within a given state, but that have not yet been formed. For counties which want to secede from their current state and join or create another, see List of U.S. state partition proposals.
- Perdido County, Alabama would contain northern Baldwin County, divided by a straight line extending westward from the northwestern tip of Florida, and western Escambia County, west of Big Escambia Creek. (The Flomaton area is excluded via a prominent power line easement, from Big Escambia Creek to the Florida state line.) The southwestern tip of Conecuh County, also west of Big Escambia Creek, may be included as well. The headwaters of the Perdido River rise near the center of this proposed county. The Perdido County seat would be Atmore. The county has been proposed by city of Atmore backers, who believe that their growing city of over 10,000 residents should be a county seat. Furthermore, county backers believe that Atmore belongs in the Mobile-Daphne-Fairhope metropolitan combined statistical area, which would become much more likely within its own exurban-leaning county. Brewton would remain the county seat of rural-leaning Escambia County. In addition to the incorporated city of Atmore, Perdido County would include the unincorporated communities of Blacksher, Canoe, Freemanville, Huxford, Nokomis, Perdido and Tensaw.
- Chugiak and Eagle River are communities along the Glenn Highway between Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. Originally farming and homesteading communities with a distinct identity, they became better known starting in the 1970s as bedroom communities of Anchorage, and are currently located within its city limits (see below). In the wake of the incorporation of the Greater Anchorage Area Borough (in 1964) and subsequent efforts to merge the GAAB with Anchorage’s city government (which began in 1966), Chugiak and Eagle River residents began their own efforts to attempt to secede from the GAAB. The culmination of these efforts, the Chugiak-Eagle River Borough, incorporated on August 27, 1974 with an area of 820 square miles (2,100 km2) and an estimated population of 5,832, before the incorporation was invalidated by the Alaska Supreme Court on April 14, 1975. Five months later, the reconstituted GAAB and existing cities within its boundaries merged to form the Municipality of Anchorage. The population of Eagle River increased greatly during the 1980s and 1990s. This has led to renewed discussion during the 21st century on the part of Chugiak and Eagle River residents to secede from Anchorage.
- Russell Pearce, a state legislator, has proposed a bill which would ease county splits, as part of his effort to split off the East Valley portion of Maricopa County. Two such attempts were made: the first one in the early 1990s included the cities and towns of Mesa (county seat), Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Tempe, and Guadalupe, while a second attempt in the early 2000s included the same cities and towns except for Tempe and Guadalupe. County splitting rules were made more restrictive after the formation of La Paz County in 1983, which required a significant state investment to keep the county running as the result of its small tax base.
- There is an ongoing movement in Lake Havasu City to split from Mohave County.
- In the late 1930s, differences between mining and ranching interests in Cochise County spurred a proposal to split the county, with the new county’s seat at Willcox, which the state Legislature ultimately rejected.
- In the 1980s, a bill was successfully passed in the state legislature to create an all Indian county out of the northern halves of Navajo and Apache Counties, and the northeastern half of Coconino County. Non-Indian communities in the southern region of these counties felt that the Navajo and Hopi Nations do not pay a fair share in local taxes. The bill was vetoed by then governor Bruce Babbitt, who placed a five-year moratorium on its consideration. Subsequent attempts to revive the bill failed and the issue has not resurfaced in recent years.
- Mission County, to be formed from the northern portion of Santa Barbara County. A formal proposal was resoundingly rejected by voters in 2006.
- High Desert County, to be formed largely from northern Los Angeles County as well as portions of San Bernardino County and Kern County. Proposed by late state senator Pete Knight (cf.) in 2002.
- A writer to the Los Angeles Times in 1997 indicated a sentiment from south Orange County residents that they would seek to secede from the county if it insisted on building a new airport on the former site of Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. The airport plan was eventually discarded in favor of the Orange County Great Park plan.
- Prior to the formation of Orange County, residents of Anaheim in 1870 pushed a bill in the state assembly for the creation of an Anaheim County. The proposal had the support of San Francisco.
- In 1988, there was a serious effort, including a vote on the subject, to divide San Bernardino County into its urban Southwestern corner, which would have retained the name, and a new Mojave County to comprise the vast, sparsely populated Northern and Eastern portions.
- Two attempts to form a separate county combining parts of Levy and Marion Counties took place. The first one was Bloxham County, and the second was Call County.
- In the early-1990s, members of the coastal communities of Duval County that rejected consolidation with Jacksonville planned to form Ocean County.
- In 2006, residents of unincorporated west Hawaii County, which currently encompasses all of Hawaii Island, met to propose the formation of West Hawaii County. The recent movement reportedly has the support of at least one state senator.
- Lincoln County: Southern Cook County communities, upset at Chicago-centric policies of the county government, petitioned in 2004 to split off the southern portion of the county. The southern communities argue they are in financial ruin due to bad policies limiting their ability to attract business, but critics contend that the area’s problems stem from rampant city corruption.
- Marquette County: proposed county to be formed from Hancock County, which made progress in the state legislature in 1844.
- In a 2004 meeting of the Putnam County commissioners, the sentiment of splitting the county, in order to fairly distribute innkeepers’ tax, is alluded to, but rejected as an invalid matter for the council.
- Garfield County: in 1887, the area around Ravanna and Eminence split from Buffalo County (now split among Lane, Finney, and Gray counties) and organized into Garfield County. Both towns were of equal influence, and contested the award of county seat. An election that year, which involved 20 Dodge City deputies including Bat Masterson, found Ravanna to have the lead. However, Eminence discovered that illegal votes had been cast for Ravanna, and in 1889 the state supreme court overturned 60 votes, awarding Garfield County seat to Eminence. In a doomsday move, Ravanna countered by hiring surveyors to determine that the new county’s land area was under the minimum allowed at the time. In 1893 the Kansas state legislature invalidated the county and annexed it to Finney. Today, both Ravanna and Eminence are ghost towns.
- Throughout the history of Worcester County, the largest by area in the state, residents of the northern part of the county have pushed for a split. This never occurred, and is now a moot point, as in Massachusetts and Connecticut, county governments in those states have been dissolved, with responsibilities assumed by the state and municipalities within those counties, which now exist solely for historical and regional demarcation purposes.
- Residents of Florence Township began a petition to secede from Goodhue County over plans to locate a nuclear waste disposal site in the area.
- There appears to have been a proposal to split Pine County in 2000, which prompted a change in county formation laws.   
- Residents of Nye County, mainly in Pahrump and Tonopah, have pushed as recently as 2001 for a north-south county split, perhaps with the northern portion merging with Esmeralda County. While laws making it easier to form new counties have passed since then, this split has not occurred. Nye is the largest county in Nevada and the third largest in the entire U.S., although over 90% is federal land.
- The municipalities of western Essex County have discussed secession from the county, to create a new West Essex County, spurred mainly by a belief that tax laws benefit the eastern portions of the county at the expense of the western municipalities. Currently, this idea is essentially a dead movement.
- Adirondack County, to be formed from northern Essex and southern Franklin counties.
- Brookhaven County, to be formed from the Town of Brookhaven in central Suffolk County.
- Peconic County, to be formed from the rural eastern portion of Suffolk County.
- Providence County, to be formed from southern Mecklenburg County.
- Lake County, to be formed from northern Mecklenburg County.
- In 1818, residents of the Barnesville greater area petitioned the state legislature for a new county seated at the city and formed from parts of Belmont, Guernsey, and Monroe counties. The proposal was rejected.
- In 1984, Wilbur Ternyik promoted an effort to form the new “McCall County” out of the western portions of Lane County and Douglas County. The effort was stopped by its promoter at the request of the governor. Lane County is the size of Connecticut, or of Delaware and Rhode Island combined; 4,620 square miles. “At the time we were being treated like a bunch of garbage, and we’d had enough of it,” said Ternyik in 2005. Though the effort was not successful, Ternyik credited the effort with getting the county to treat their coastal constituents “a lot nicer,” in part due to nervousness about losing timber revenue.
- In 2005, Keith Stanton began a petition to form a new county from the western portion of Lane County, including Eugene. The proposed county was to be named “Siuslaw County”. Stanton’s petition was unsuccessful. According to Stanton, a new Suislaw County was introduced in the legislature in 1913, at the behest of the timber industry, for reasons similar to those he noted in 2005; and some Mapleton residents revived the idea in 1975, but backed off when the county agreed to improve services.
- Birch County, to be formed from portions of Lexington and Richland counties in the Midlands region of the state. Proposed in 2013, one-third of voters in the proposed county’s area would have to petition the South Carolina Legislature to create a referendum on county creation. Two-thirds of voters in the proposed area would then be required to approve the referendum. Due to South Carolina’s checkered voting rights history, the application for a new county would also require federal review and approval.
- Neshoba County, to be formed from part of Shelby County. Its formation was threatened in 1990 by rural communities after the city of Memphis proposed that the city’s financially struggling school district merge with that of the county, The merger actually took place at the start of the 2013-14 school year, with some of the towns in question forming their own school districts in response.
- Catoctin County, to be formed from western Loudoun County, in response to the voiding of zoning measures intended to slow growth in the area.
- During the desegregation era, the town of Ivor threatened to secede from Southampton County after a consolidated and integrated county high school was built in the late 1950s.
- Cascade County
- in the 1880s, from the eastern portions of Whatcom County, Skagit County, and Snohomish County counties, with Sauk City as county seat,
- in 1964, from eastern portions of King and Snohomish counties
- in the 1970s, from the rural eastern portions of King and Pierce counties, and
- in 2016, from the rural northwestern portions of Kittitas County
- Cedar County: from eastern King County. A petition in support of the county collected 23,765 signatures, however the Washington Supreme Court ruled unanimously in 1998 that the state government was not obligated to act upon the petition and that the number of signatures was insufficient per the Washington State Constitution.
- Freedom County: from northern Snohomish County. The 1998 decision against the proposed Cedar County was described as a “major setback” for this proposal as well.
- Independence County: form the east portion of Whatcom County. Both Pioneer and Independence movements cite poor services and oppressive property regulations, plus favoritism towards Bellingham as reasons for their proposals. Both are rumored to be backed by land developers.
- Olympic County: from western Clallam and Jefferson counties
- Pioneer County: from northern Whatcom County. The 1998 decision against the proposed Cedar County was described as a “major setback” for this proposal as well.
- Puget Sound County: from southern King County; proposed in 1996
- Skykomish County: from southeastern Snohomish and northeastern King counties. The 1998 decision against the proposed Cedar County was described as a “major setback” for this proposal as well.
- Whitehorse County: from northern Snohomish County in the 1970s
- Wind River County, to be formed from eastern Fremont County, with county seat at Riverton. Riverton and Lander, which as county seat would remain in Fremont County, are rival towns.
- Residents of Wright proposed a split from Campbell County in 2005.
- In 2004, state senator Stan Cooper introduced a bill to form Fossil County from the southern half of Lincoln County, which failed.
- Mitchell, Elaine B., ed. (1975). Alaska Blue Book (Second ed.). Juneau: Alaska Department of Education, Division of State Libraries. p. 141.
- http://www.lakehavasucnty.com/about.htm[permanent dead link]
- AABE-Difficult race relations continue between Apaches and Whites
- MJEOL – Search[permanent dead link]
- 2006 Primary Election Results, Santa Barbara County, California
- “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2006-05-18. Retrieved 2006-02-14.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- http://www.sen.ca.gov/ftp/sen/SENATOR/_ARCHIVE_2004/KNIGHT/KERNPRSS/022198.TXT[permanent dead link]
- Noise News for Week of November 9, 1997
- Orange County – 1866 to 1888 Archived 2009-04-08 at the Wayback Machine
- Sahagun, Louis (May 27, 1988). “Desert Dwellers Want Their Place in the Sun–Named Mojave County”. Los Angeles Times.
- October 28, 1993; Florida Crossroads – Ocean County (The Florida Channel) Archived July 5, 2013, at Archive.today
- Glen M. Leonard, Nauvoo: A Place of Peace, A People of Promise (Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 2002), p. 308
- Commissioners Meeting Archived 2005-11-14 at the Wayback Machine
- 1998 Kansas Profiles Archived 2003-01-05 at Archive.today
- Kansas Counties Archived 2010-06-16 at the Wayback Machine
- Garfield County – KS-Cyclopedia – 1912 Archived 2013-06-10 at the Wayback Machine
- Buffalo County – KS-Cyclopedia – 1912 Archived 2005-11-25 at the Wayback Machine
- “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2002-06-24. Retrieved 2006-02-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Pahrump Valley Times – Nye County’s Largest Newspaper Circulation Archived 2005-03-06 at the Wayback Machine
- Ol Jakob-First Generation
- The Register-Guard, June 16, 1984. Siuslaw News June 20, 1984. The Oregonian, June 28, 1984.
- Ross, Winston (September 30, 2005). “Secession by petition not a new idea”. The Register-Guard.
- The Register-Guard, September 30, 2005, full page coverage. Siuslaw News Opinion Page, April 2005 though May 2006.
- Ross, Winston (September 30, 2005). “Some folks in western Lane are ready to form a spinoff “Siuslaw County”: Coastal residents consider carving out own county”. The Register-Guard.
- Stanton, Keith (November 7, 2005). “Siuslaw area could manage on its own as a county”. The Register-Guard.
- “Archived copy” (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-03-19. Retrieved 2006-02-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Hastie, Thomas P.; Batey, David; Sisson, E.A.; Graham, Albert L., eds. (1906). “Chapter VI: Cities and Towns”. An Illustrated History of Skagit and Snohomish Counties. Chicago: Interstate Publishing Company. p. 151. LCCN 06030900. OCLC 11299996. Retrieved February 2, 2017 – via The Internet Archive.
- Wilson, Marshall (December 2, 1964). “Darrington Residents Push Plan for New County”. The Seattle Times. p. 21.
- “Activists propose new ‘Puget Sound County‘“. Moscow-Pullman Daily News. AP. July 11, 1996. p. 5A.
- Hal Spencer (February 6, 1998). “New counties dealt major blow”. The Spokesman-Review. AP. p. B8.“Cedar County Committee v. Munro (No. 64958-8)”. FindLaw. February 5, 1998.
- Paul de Armond; Jim Halpin (1995) . “Steal This State”. Archived from the original on February 4, 2006.
- Aweeka, Charles (May 11, 1975). “New-county talk heard in Snohomish backlands”. The Seattle Times. p. F12.
- Wyoming City Wants its Own County | Growth & Public Policy | New West Network Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine