Antioch Council moves forward on annexing Viera area, adding 678 acres to northeast part of city

By James Ott

At their August 13, 2013 meeting, the Antioch City Council cautiously took the final steps to annex 678 acres northeast of the city, in and around Wilbur and Viera Avenues (where Jaycee Dugard was held captive) by approving two documents that ensure the city gets it’s share of property tax from the land and that it will split infrastructure costs with the county.

At the meeting it was revealed that the city could potentially lose nealy $900,000 in property tax revenue if it does not complete it’s final agreement with the county by December 1 – the cutoff date the county assessor uses to determine which jurisdiction property tax will go to.

To counter this language was put in the agreements that could pro-rate the tax revenue if the city and county can’t come to a final resolution by the December 1 cutoff date.

Although the struggling city could badly use all of the revenue City Manager Jim Jakel said the city should take the best deal and think long term.

“We want to get it done by December 1 but if there’s not a deal on the table that’s in the best interest of the city then we shouldn’t take the deal,” he said.

To further protect Antioch’s interests in the annexation, City Attorney Tracy Nerland placed language in the two approved agreements that allows the city to review any changes to the agreements made by the county in the future.

The city of Antioch has battled the county for years over the acreage to control both what will get built there and where tax revenue will go. Currently both the city and county have similar industrial use plans for the property including a possible 100-acre industrial project the county has been working on. The current agreements would allow the county control over this industrial project because it has already been working for several years to get it done and the taxes from such a project would benefit both the county and the city of Antioch.

As the agreements stand the city and county will pay $3 million over 10 years for required improvements to water and sewer systems.

The two parties will split sales tax in the northeast annexation area while 62 percent of property tax will go to the county and 38 percent to the city. The agreement, however does not apply to locally approved tax measures and so if the new half-cent sales tax measure on the ballot in November is approved, the city will keep all of that revenue coming from the annexation area.

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