When it comes to the tax money the Fulton school district might lose if the city wins its annexation fight with the town of Granby, it’s not as simple as it sounds.
The city is trying to seize the land that it’s Wastewater Treatment Plant sits on along Route 48 in Granby, just north of the city, using the legal process called annexation.
If Fulton succeeds, the land will belong to the city and will no longer be taxable.
The school district will lose $78 thousand in property taxes. Mayor Ron Woodward said recently the district would have no problem making up the loss.
“When you compare $78 thousand to a $62 million budget or a $19.5 million tax levy, it’s dwarfed by those other numbers,” said Fulton Superintendent of Schools Bill Lynch, but “I wouldn’t say any amount of money we ask someone to pay is negligible. $78 thousand is, to us, more than a teaching position.”
The city has said that the annexation attempt is tied to the need to lower the cost of its water and sewer services, in order to attract a buyer to the closed Birds-Eye food processing plant.
Woodward said recently that the county and city are deep into negotiations with a potential buyer, who requires concessions on utility costs.
Lynch and Board of Education member Brian Hotaling said that the economic development discussions show why this isn’t as simple as the district losing tax dollars.
“If they have to raise the [water and sewer] rates because they don’t have a large user, we’re a large user. Our rate’s going to go up,” said Hotaling.
More people working because of a potential Birds-Eye deal would also help offset the loss of tax revenue from the annexation.
“Jobs for a viable community is the goal,” Lynch said. “Iif this outcome helps, they need to come up with a process so that we can have businesses want to come into the plants that are here.”