People need to think twice before they agree to have their property annexed. We recently supported and were a great influence in helping an annexation get passed on Northeast Goldie Street in Oak Harbor.
The annexation changed some zoning from residential to commercial and now the city is not getting the revenue it hoped from sewer hookups and the county is not getting sales tax dollars from businesses that didn’t come.
Now, the assessor’s office raised property taxes to almost 250 percent of its true value.
Our property has two old run-down homes on it that could both be viable affordable housing options. With the increase in property taxes, the county states in writing we can use the tool shed as additional living space, but new zoning requirements say “any new development and/or redevelopment must meet the current commercial zoning.”
They also put in writing there could be an auto repair shop on the property. This shows the county is searching for sales tax revenue, redevelopment fees, sewer hookup fees, permit fees, on and on. But the homes would have to go.
Please note that we are not developers. We’re just a husband and wife who work six-and-a-half days a week to pay outrageous taxes and receive lower than current market rents.
There you go, cut down the trees and put up a parking lot. And while you are at it, take away several more affordable housing units at a time you need more landlords like us.
There is a comparable sale of a very similar parcel from June in the same area in the same situation as “legal non-conforming use” with nearly twice the size and much lower land value. It has other improvements with grading, fences, paved roads, etc., that adds serious additional value.
The assessor compared this property to a sale of $1.8 million business property. The law says a county is entitled to taxes for better and best use of a property. It also states 100 percent of fair market value, which the real comparison shows, and zoning prior to annexation when development took place does not matter one bit.
The state assumes the assessor is always right. So those property owners may get annexed into the city at Monroe Landing — if they change your zoning.
The greed will flow onto you, doubling your property taxes without your property values really going up. It’s all about taxing at better and best use. Remember this at election time.