Pharos-Tribune

Columns

July 31, 2013

KITCHELL: 'Annexation light' not good public policy

(Continued)

Annexation light is bad public policy because it gives newly annexed taxpayers a free pass in paying for city services the rest of city taxpayers pay for such as stormwater fees. This is particularly unusual because when a 100-year high rainfall hit Logansport a decade ago, the area hardest hit was the south side. Now many of the people who live a block or two from those hardest hit areas will pay nothing for relieving the burden of flooded streets for their neighbors in portions of the south side and other parts of the city.

Stormwater also is an issue because one of the major contributors to stormwater problems is the proliferation of parking lots that limit the absorption area in the city. If much of the area south of the city is developed with driveways, parking lots and roads as the new four-lane Hoosier Heartland Corridor opens, stormwater will become a greater issue, yet there will be no stormwater funds collected from those residents to pay for any problems that result from development. People who live a mile away from that development in the city will be paying for it and residents in the new annexed areas won’t be paying a dime.

Annexation light is poor public policy because it opens up another can of worms. It potentially creates jealousy between residents in different areas of the city who may seek to be exempt from some of the very same limitations the newly annexed residents will not have. In short, it creates inequality in tax fairness.

Where annexation makes the most sense is where utility lines already exist and where the city is naturally progressing because of roads, housing, schools, shopping centers and stand-alone stores and industrial areas.

That’s just not the case this time around, and it’s the reason why many local homeowners and business owners are displaying red-and-white signs that simply read “Stop Annexation.”

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