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Annexation Will Cost Fulton Schools Money, Might Bring More Money In As Well

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.”

3 Comments

  1. The school won’t lose any money. All the property owners in the Fulton School District will end up having to pay more to make up for this. Don’t forget, CCC taking the plaza off the tax rolls will do the same.

  2. Mike:

    It didn’t get into the article, but the property tax cap can actually prevent the district from making up the difference, provided the difference is large enough (and other variables, such as the total amount of taxable property, the amount of state aid, etc. are part of the equation, too). The point was merely to show that — and this surprised me, as I hadn’t thought of it — the water bill could be better off because of the city’s ability to give a tax break to a huge water user, the former Birds-Eye plant.

    And CCC is in talks about how to compensate the city for the loss of the taxable property. The portion owned by the CCC Foundation is non-taxable. The portion owned by the college itself is not. If I had to guess, I’d say that keeping some of the college campus property in the hands of the college and not the foundation is one way for CCC to show its concern. But we’ll see.

    Another bit that didn’t make it into this article, but will be part of another one, is that the district is facing much larger issues from big properties that have won or are suing for reductions in their property assessments. The 78K loss to the district from annexation is low on the list of lost-property-tax problems.

  3. Dave,
    I don’t think the 2% comes into play on this. This is money they already get – so it wouldn’t be a budget increase. They wouldn’t be collecting any more than they do now, it would just be divided among the other properties in the district.

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