The City of Austin is a growing, vibrant city, which has been able to expand geographically thanks to liberal state annexation laws. These laws permit Austin and other Texas home-rule cities to unilaterally annex territory within their extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ). By annexing, cities capture tax revenue from suburban communities to help support infrastructure and services metro-wide. But slowly, over time, barriers to unilateral annexation have emerged in Texas. Barriers include opposition from suburban residents, creation of municipal utility districts, and state legislation. This paper discusses alternative to unilateral annexation for the City of Austin. Alternative strategies include consolidation of city-county services and/or government structures (metro government), and negotiated annexation. Recommendations include consolidation of city-county services and negotiated annexation for the short term, and limited metro government with selected autonomous service providers for the long term.