06/26/05 — Council will take another look at annexation

View Archive

Council will take another look at annexation

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on June 26, 2005 2:00 AM

Annexation would cost most homeowners thousands of dollars over the next several years, according to information provided by the city.

But they could also save hundreds on taxes, insurance and other charges.

Many of the homes in the proposed annexation area are valued around $200,000. That would make the typical city property tax bill around $1,300 a year, given the 2005-06 tax rate.

Most people pay taxes as part of their monthly mortgage payment. The average homeowner would expect to see about a $108 increase in that payment.

The city would also be charging residents as it installs sewer lines. The maximum assessment would be $17 per foot of line along the main road, so if a homeowner has 120 feet of road frontage, the assessment would be $2,040. This charge would be due as the lines are laid, regardless of whether a homeowner hooks on to sewer service.

If a homeowner wants sewer service, the city will charge a $600 tap-on fee. This pays for the connection to the sewer line in the street and a 4-inch line up to the property line. The resident will have to hire a plumber to install the piping from the property line to connect to the house's plumbing.

For sewer service, the city currently charges $3.16 per 100 cubic feet of water used. An average family's sewer bill is around $30 a month.

Homeowners can choose not to hook on, but five years after sewer lines are installed, the city would begin charging a $3-per-month fee to all water customers without sewer service.

The city also charges for its weekly garbage and twice-monthly recyclable collections. The monthly fee is $15, which is about $3 a month cheaper than many private collectors charge for garbage alone.

Homeowners would enjoy some other savings.

The city must provide water service to the new area as cheaply as it does elsewhere, so even though two sanitary districts would continue to produce the water, the city would underwrite homeowners' costs.

Belfast/Patetown customers would save about $9 a month, or $108 a year, while Fork customers ould save around $13.50 a month, or 162 a year.

The city would become responsible for fire protection, which means residents would then be exempt from the fire district tax, currently 6.5 cents per $100. The $200,000 homeowner would save $130 a year.

City officials also predict that the annexation area would have a better fire insurance rating if it was brought inside Goldsboro. The Belfast Fire Department now has a rating of 7 (on a scale of 1-10, one being the best), while the city fire district is rated a 5.

A lower fire insurance rating could drop the cost of homeowners' insurance. The difference could be $3.50 a month, or $42 a year, for the owner of a brick home and $17.50 a month, or $210 a year, for the owner of a frame home, city officials estimate.

Also, people who itemize on their federal income tax returns can deduct property tax payments from their taxable incomes. This can add up to hundreds of dollars.

For example, take the $200,000 homeowner. If that person typically pays 20 percent of their income in federal taxes, the additional deduction would be worth about $260. If that person was also in the state's 8.25-percent bracket, the deduction would save about $107.