The Town of Oro Valley is in the process of annexing an area southwest of Suffolk Rd. The area includes: Tohono Chul Park, Platinum Fitness, the Catholic Church radio station, a motel, medical office suites and residential homes.
Annexation of an area requires that 50% of the property owners and 50% of the property values approve the annexation. To date, the area has not agreed to annexation. The Town has until April to finalize this agreement.
The "Law Of Self-Interest" also known as: "What's in it for me?" is the governing rule when it comes to annexation. The enticement for those being annexed are the road improvements that would invariably be part of any "agreement" and the extension of the Oro Valley police in for the town,
The inducement for the town is the potential for additional sales tax revenues and revenues generated by the utility tax. The revenues generated by the sales tax are a transfer from the Pima County coffers to Oro Valley's coffers since the annexed area would now be part of Oro Valley. So to those being annexed the transfer is transparent to them when it comes to the sales tax.
The utility tax that is the disincentive for those to join our town. The utility tax is not a pass-through tax. It is a 4% tax added to every utility bill: Water, gas, electricity. It is, really, like a property tax. You pay it simply because you happen to own a property that uses these necessary products. There is no comparable utility tax paid by these potential annexes. The utility is an added cost of doing business. It will cost those who annexed thousands of dollars a year simply because their property is now part of Oro Valley. In effect, the utility tax is a disincentive.
We don't know whether the owners will approve this annexation. What we do know is that we've never liked the utility tax. We even hate it when we play "monopoly." It is nothing more than a property tax in disguise. It would good if this tax, "sold" to us as a temporary tax, went away. Unfortunately, utility tax is a tax that keeps on hurting.