MONROE CO. – Several Monroe County residents attended a public meeting Sunday afternoon at the Monroe County Fairgrounds on the proposal by the City of Bloomington to annex eight different areas within Monroe County.
The meeting was sponsored by Monroe County officials to give the public information on how the proposed annexation may affect them as a taxpayer and the revenues that may increase or decrease for various units of government in the proposed areas.
Monroe County officials hired Baker Tilly to do a study and to compare their findings to data completed by Reedy Financial Group who was hired by the City of Bloomington.
“This meeting is designed to provide information and is not to speak for or against annexation. We represent all of Monroe County,” said Monroe County Commissioner Julie Thomas.
Residents were allowed to ask questions and seek answers from the presenters which included Baker Tilly, Monroe County Commissioners, Monroe County Council and Monroe Fire Protection Fire District. The Monroe County legal department was not able to attend the meeting on Sunday but questions that could not be answered will be given to the legal department to be replied to later this week.
According to Deen Rogers of Baker Tilly, “In the preparation of the report, assumptions were made regarding certain future events. As is the case with such assumptions regarding future events and transactions, some or all may occur as expected, and the resulting difference could be material. We have not examined the underlying assumptions, nor have we audited or reviewed historical data. Consequently, we express no opinion nor do we have a responsibility to prepare subsequent reports,”
Rogers states, “The Reedy Financial Group study assumes that 12 percent of the tax bill increase is due to 12 percent in growth in assessed value, which just is not correct. And it understates tax bill increase due to assessed value growth, overstates tax bill increase due to annexation, in our study we left out the growth value in changes to the tax bill.”
“Over the next four years, it is likely that assessments and tax rates will change which may be out of control of the individual taxing units,” Rogers added. “In looking at some tax bills of residents and businesses the annexation had little or no change on a tax bill to huge impacts on the taxpayer depending on many factors.”
Residents were provided information on how they could look upon an online calculator to determine the impact for their tax bill in 2024 for paying tax bills 2025 should annexation pass.
Annexation will increase revenue to the following units of government:
Baker Tilly study:
City of Bloomington – 1st Year – $8,468,477 – 2nd Year – $10,738,870
Bloomington Transit – 1st Year – $332,681 – 2nd Year – $405,,897
Bloomington Stormwater – 1st Year – $230,545 – 2nd Year – $230, 545
Reed Finacial Study:
City of Bloomington 1st Year – $9,107 2nd Year – $10,889,683
Bloomington Transit 1st Year – $339,581 2nd Year – $407,589
Bloomington Stormwater 1st Year – $230, 545 2nd Year – $245, 545
Benton Township 1st Year – $550 2nd Year – Revenue loss see below
Bloomington Township 1st Year $ 15,043 2nd Year Revenue loss see below
Annexation will decrease revenue for the following units of government:
Baker Tilly Study:
- Monroe County – 1st Year – $1,336,724 2nd Year – $2,737,526
- Elletsville – 1st Year – $8,596 2nd Year – $88,913
- Stinesville – 1st Year – $71 2nd Year $519
- Monroe County Schools – 1st Year $480,047 2nd Year $480,047
- Richland Beam Bloosom Schools – 1st Year $32,046 2nd Year $32,046
- Monroe County Library – 1st Year $85,517 2nd Year $273213
- Benton Township – 1st Year $1,013 2nd Year S11,533
- Bloomington Township – 1st Year $1,125 2nd year $21,245
- Perry Township – 1st Year $14,567 2nd year $34,560
- Richland Township – 1st Year $ 11,606 2nd year $68,453
- Salt Creek Township – 1st Year $ 1,138 2nd Year $9,803
- Van Buren Township – 1st Year $8,775 2nd Year $31,408
- Monroe Fire Protect Dist. – 1st Year $245,001 2nd Year $ 501,370
- Monroe County Solid Waste Dist. – 1st Year $25,748 2nd Year $25,748
Reedy Financial Group Study:
- Monroe County – 1st Year – $1,325,210 – 2nd Year – $1,859,904
- Elletsville – 1st Year – $1,505 – 2nd Year – 31,210
- Stinesville – 1st Year – $42 – 2nd Year $223
- Monroe County Schools – 1st Year $531,497 – 2nd Year $531,497
- Richland Beam Bloosom Schools – 1st Year $47,121- -2nd Year $47,121
- Monroe County Library – 1st Year $83,021 – 2nd Year $179,061
- Benton Township –1st year revenue gain see above – 2nd Year $4,711
- Bloomington Township – 1st Year revenue gain see above – 2nd year $12,856
- Perry Township – 1st Year $24,050 – 2nd year $33,800
- Richland Township – 1st Year $ 4,431 – 2nd year $16,999
- Salt Creek Township – 1st Year $ 112 – 2nd Year $3,235
- Van Buren Township – 1st Year $23, 488 – 2nd Year $51,601
- Monroe Fire Protect Dist. – 1st Year – $359,420 -2nd Year $ 359,420
- Monroe County Solid Waste Dist. – 1st Year $25,062 -2nd Year $25,062
Several public officials attended the meeting which included Julie Thomas, Monroe County Commissioner, Penny Githens, Monroe County Commissioner Lee Jones Monroe County Commissioner, Marty Hawk, Monroe County Council, Cheryl Munson Monroe County Council, Rita Barrow, Van Buren Township Trustee, Fire Chief Monroe Fire Protection District Dustin Dillard, and Jeff Ellington, Indiana State Representative District 62.
Marty Hawk addressed the public during the Question and Answer session as well as, Jeff Ellington, from District 62 who has been trying to pass legislation to prevent involuntary annexation. Indiana is one of the few states that allows involuntary annexation.
“This is something that I have worked very hard in trying to stop, I put it this way, in the example its a like a large school corporation trying to take over a small school corporation. I have drafted legislation most recently in the Senate, which passed however it always gets killed in the House normally by 20 representatives who are asked by Mayor’s of large cities to kill the legislation,” said Ellington.
A petition drive is underway with residents Colby Wicker, Margret Clements, and Susan Brackney, however, the petition drive is not legally binding when it comes to opposing annexation.
“The petition drive is important and it sends out a message to the City of Bloomington that there is opposition to the proposal, but the remonstrance is the legal way to get annexation stopped,” said Julie Thomas Monroe County Commissioner.
The City of Bloomington must notify residents when the ordinance is passed, then taxpayers can file a remonstrance on the proposal. Taxpayers must file it within 90 days following the passage of the ordinance.
In order for a remonstrance to be successful over 65 percent of the taxpayers in the proposed annexed area must file the required paperwork at the Monroe County Auditors office. The auditor will then verify they are a property owner and have legal standing.
There are eight areas proposed for annexation, some areas may be successful in getting the annexation stopped and other areas of annexation may not be able to based on the number of taxpayers filing the remonstrance.
The next meeting sponsored by the Monroe County Commissioners will be held later this afternoon at the Monroe Fire Protection District 3953 South Kennedy Drive which will be a hybrid meeting both in-person or Zoom meeting starting at 6:00 p.m.
The City of Bloomington will also conduct a public comment period on the proposed annexation ordinances starting at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday at the Showers Building 401 North Morton Street in Bloomington.