Clock is ticking on proposed auto mall area annexation - Tucson News Now

Clock is ticking on proposed auto mall area annexation

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

In City of Tucson's quest to expand itsboundaries and add another 48 acres near the Auto Mall, gettingthe majority of property owners in a proposed annex to say yes is just onerequirement.  Getting the majority of the property value to agree to it isanother.  If the effort is successful, four more dealers, a bank, medicaloffices, and residences would join the city.

Along Wetmore Road, plenty oflarge high-value commercial properties can be seen.  If the majority ofproperty owners in the area say yes, that might not also represent the majorityof the property value.  One owner with a lot of land, or expensive land,can say no and prevent the annexation.  And that would keep the citylimits right where they are now.

While expanding city limitsbrings in more state tax revenue because incorporated areas get more from thestate than unincorporated county land, this can be a hard sell for a businessthat currently avoid charging city sales tax, and those who want to avoidadditional property tax.

The city's argument is that thearea will also get Tucson police and fire department service among others.

Ward 3 Council member KarinUhlich said that she hopes the owners in the area say yes.  But she saidthat she also understands that they have to weigh what's right for them.

"There is a cost-benefitanalysis that everybody goes through and I respect the decisions that are goingto be made and I'm hopeful.  I think it would mean a lot to theestablishments that join the city limits and really to the whole community,"Uhlich said.

This could bring in an extramillion dollars in sales tax revenue for Tucson the first year, and about twomillion dollars in revenue each following year.  This process startedaround mid April last year, so the city has a month or so to get this done.

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