Right now, many Bloomington area residents are concerned with the ongoing discussions of annexation. In the past few weeks the city of Bloomington had meetings to discuss the proposed plan to incorporate nearly 10,000 acres around the outskirts of Bloomington.
The responses to this plan have varied. This annexation will cause people living in the proposed annexation zones to pay an additional property tax on top of their existing tax rate. On the flip side, these residents will also receive benefits from the city of Bloomington.
These prospective Bloomington residents would receive the services that all Bloomington citizens receive. These services include everything from snow removal to garbage and recycling pick up. Also, these areas will be part of the city’s fiber initiative, a plan to provide fiber internet to all of Bloomington.
We at the Indiana Daily Student Editorial Board understand this is a complex, difficult issue. With nearly 15,000 people living in proposed annexation areas, it will affect many people around Bloomington. With that said, we think this annexation can be very fruitful for some of the suggested areas, but other zones should forgo the proposed annexation.
As of now, the unincorporated areas surrounding Bloomington have been divided into nine distinct zones, and each will be considered for annexation independently. In zone six, more than 90 percent of polled residents were against annexation, thus ending the plans for this zone to enter Bloomington. This process of petitioning is called remonstration. We at the Editorial Board think it is crucial for residents to have some sort of say in this process because it will directly affect them, and we support most areas with strong aversion to the annexation plan. If more than 90 percent of residents do not want something, it probably should not be forced upon them.
With that said, there are some areas that should be annexed. Many residents living in annexation areas use Bloomington roads frequently, and even send their children to schools within Bloomington, but these people do not have to pay city property taxes. It makes sense for the areas with high concentrations of these types of people to be incorporated into Bloomington city limits.
Furthermore, we think zones one, two, and three should specifically be annexed into city limits. These areas have been under consideration for annexation for a while, and in the past have undergone something called “spider annexation,” where some roads have been annexed, but the land around them has not.
This issue is very pressing and could literally redefine the city of Bloomington. While it is unfortunate that annexation will cause increased property taxes, some areas should definitely become official Bloomington territory. However, we at the Editorial Board support citizens trying to have a say in this process and even reversing it in some areas.