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Some landowners unhappy with inclusion in city limits


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Owners of property that soon will become a part of Greenwood are split on being annexed, depending on where they live.

Greenwood is pursuing a large 1,800-acre annexation around a new Interstate 65 exit and smaller annexations of a Center Grove area neighborhood and scattered pockets of unincorporated land on the city’s south side.

The Greenwood City Council gave preliminary approval to an annexation of the Shepherds Grove subdivision in White River Township, where residents asked to be added into the city. The council also approved a fiscal plan for the annexation of scattered areas along its southern border, where residents raised concerns about becoming part of the city.

 

Greenwood is pursuing that annexation to smooth out its borders and be more clear where the city provides service. About 20 residents, who own 95 acres of land, would become part of the city.

Three property owners who live in unincorporated areas along the southern border of the city expressed concerns during Monday’s council meeting, saying they were happy with the services they had, didn’t want to follow city rules and didn’t want to pay city taxes.

Newly annexed residents would pay a city tax rate, be subject to city rules and get city services, such as police protection and road maintenance. They’d also get city trash pickup and leaf and limb service and would have to start paying a $5-per-month stormwater utility fee.

Resident Matthew Zwilling, who lives in an unincorporated area off of Pushville Road, said he sees no need to be annexed into the city because he’s satisfied with the services he receives from Johnson County government, including police protection from the sheriff’s office.

“We’re already pleased with the services provided to us, and all of a sudden you want to come take us over,” he said. “It’s just more cost incurred on us.”

Zwilling said he doesn’t want to see any new development, which was why he moved to the area.

Property owner James King said he’d no longer be able to burn trash if he lived in the city, but his neighbor across the road still could. The proposed boundaries aren’t fair and don’t make sense because he would have to follow city rules that his neighbors wouldn’t, he said.

Residents would be able to vote in city elections, including for city council members who make the rules, council member Brent Corey said.

Mike Wright, who lives near the city’s southern border, said he and his neighbors would have to start paying city taxes but won’t get anything out of it. Residents in the annexation area don’t have Greenwood water or sewer, and the sheriff’s office provides enough police protection, he said.

Residents would start paying a city property tax rate if they were annexed into the city but likely wouldn’t pay any overall increase in property taxes. The annexed residents live in the Clark-Pleasant school district, and most already meet the 1 percent property tax caps for homes, meaning their taxes are capped, Corey said.

Any increase in property taxes because of the added city tax rate would be minuscule because most of the property owners are at or very near the tax caps of 1 percent for residential properties and 2 percent for rental or agricultural properties, city attorney Krista Taggart said. They won’t see an increase unless their property assessment goes up or a new government project is approved by voters.

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