The city of Jeffersonville, Indiana has approved a sweeping annexation plan that will bring in 9,000 new residents and increase its area by 7,800 acres. Jeffersonville officials have been studying and pushing for this annexation for well over a year, and last nights vote was the final needed top make it all official. City leaders said this annexation is in preparation of expected growth in eastern Clark County after the East End Bridge is completed.
After the annexation is complete on January 1, 2008, Jeffersonville will have a set time period to equalize services between the old city and the new lands. Police service will have to be beefed up, a new firehouse is being considered, and the new area will be subject to more intense zoning and drainage laws.
Annexation, though, has been quite controversial. With annexation, the new residents will be subject to city taxes, and some residents will be forced to pay up to 2,800 dollars to hook-up to the city sewers. Annexation could not be legally opposed, however, because of a cleverly written clause that nearly all the homeowners in the area signed when they purchased their homes and hooked up to the city sewers. By signing the contract they forfeited their rights to oppose a future annexation by Jeffersonville, giving the city ample opportunity to take the land when they wanted it.
The newly annexed area will increase the city’s tax base by over 40 percent, but it will be a short-term drag on city finances. City taxes will not be levied in the new area until 2009, but Jeffersonville has a legal obligation to provide services to the expanded area in 2008.