April 7th, 2010 by Michael Oliver
Since a lot of areas of the Tucson region are unincorporated areas and cities seem to continue to grow in both size and the need for tax dollars annexation is a common strategy cities such as Tucson, Oro Valley, or Marana can use to grow their cities boundaries and tax base.
So how does annexation work?
Successful annexation requires the consent of the majority of the property owners affected. State law requires signatures from more then 50% of the property owners as well as the signatures from property owners of 50% or more of the assessed valuation in the area.
What are the benefits of annexation of an area?
The benefits of a city annexing an area are they will be able to charge taxes on the the new properties within their area. This increases the tax base. Areas now not part of a city pay whats called “Rural-Metro” for their fire, and ambulance protection. When annexed the city provides this while the property owners pay more in taxes the savings from the rural metro offsets a lot of the increases. Residents can also participate in elections and decisions as they would be residents of the city that did the annexation.
What are the cons of an Annexation?
Mainly the additional costs since a higher tax rate is going to be levied for the additional services some property owners feel the cost outweighs the benefits. Additionally zoning and future development policies can be changed as a city may have certain plans for its development and for the newly annexed area. This may or may not appeal to your individual wishes and change is much easier for a city to make as it has more politics behind it then areas where owners are more less on their own.
Hopefully this helps those trying to understand the annexation process and what the changes actually mean to individual home owners within an area that has talks of annexation by a nearby city.