Tuesday, December 4, 2012

City of Decatur updates its annexation menu: two sides of commercial, hold the residential

Decatur Patch reported on last night's City of Decatur commission meeting that the new recommendation is to

1) drop most of the residential areas being considered. By dropping most of the residential areas, the City may be able to bypass the need for a referendum and still secure the commercial properties.

2) annex the heavily commercial areas comprised by Suburban Plaza and Emory Commons. This plan reduces the pressure on City of Decatur schools (by not adding as many students) and benefits the City's budget (by securing commercial area revenues they can use to provide services to City of Decatur residents without, hopefully, having to increase their tax rates).

As noted elsewhere [see the Impacts on county taxes or services, Scenarios section, @ CHCA website], the County will still receive some taxes from these properties, just not as much. The textbook explanation is that these transfers should be neutral: the revenue that is "lost" by the County is offset by their being relieved from providing certain services the City now assumes. The entity on the "losing" side of such an exchange is expected to adjust its overall budget (via planning and management) to ensure level of service is maintained.

An example of how these plans affect us directly would be police and firefighting duties--City of Decatur would be responsible for patrolling and serving Suburban Plaza, Emory Commons, and any other annexed properties.

Additional information should be available next week at the City of Decatur's Annexation page.