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New Annexation Report Shows Monroe Co. Could Lose $900,000 More Than Projected

Monroe Co. Annexation Forum

About 20 residents and officials at Monroe County's annexation forum July 28 at Bloomington Township Fire Department. (Joe Hren, WFIU/WTIU News)

A new fiscal analysis of Bloomington’s annexation proposal shows Monroe County could lose almost $900,000 more than the city projected.

County officials held three annexation forums to present their own fiscal report and answer questions from concerned residents.

County Commissioner Julie Thomas said in June that she was concerned about the process and statistics provided by the city.

“Our biggest concern is that there are residents of the county who don't know that they're being targeted for annexation," Thomas said. "Information went out and this was a big community issue in 2017. But some new residents have moved into these properties.”

The city presented its fiscal report in May by Reedy Financial Group. It indicated the county would lose more than $1.8 million in funding by year two, when the tax shift would have the biggest impact. The county’s Baker Tilly report indicates that number to be closer to $2.7 million.

READ MORE: How Will Proposed Annexation Affect Monroe Co. Property Taxes?

The Baker Tilly report also indicates Ellettsville could lose $58,000 more than what was project by the city and the Monroe Public Library could lose $94,000 more, but Monroe County Schools could lose $45,000 less than the city projected.

Two Baker Tilly representatives reviewed the numbers and said there’s no doubt there are some errors and changes will be made as the process moves along.

A public commenter said the accounting firm used assumptions that may not be in line with the city, therefore not providing accurate data.

Baker Tilly CPA Partner Paige Sansone said they used reasonable assumptions that were consistent through the report.

“The property tax increase was 3.8 percent for here, that’s very reasonable," Sansone said. "The increases in local income tax of 3 percent, very reasonable. So we’ve restated based on those reasonable assumptions that were used in the report.”

Public comment included organizers gathering petitions to present to city council during the only scheduled public hearing on August 4.

READ MORE: Bloomington's Annexation Proposal A Hard Sell For Some Non-City Residents

Margaret Clements is a resident who doesn’t live in a proposed annexed area but is concerned those on fixed incomes won’t be able to afford tax increases.

“We oppose annexation, and we have to let city council know that, and get to the 65 percent, especially with the remonstration petitions up until they vote on September 14,” Clements said.

The city council public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday from 3 until 9 p.m. at City Hall and will also be available on Zoom.

The city is hosting virtual office hours Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m.

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