Recently I met a lady who felt that a new city of North Tustin’s utility tax would be less costly to taxpayers than annexing to the city of Tustin. When I asked why she felt this way, she explained that our property taxes would increase to pay for the increased level of services provided by the city of Tustin and that city taxes would just add to our existing county property tax. Of course, I explained to her this assumption is not true.
Many in the county have assumed that by annexing to Tustin or Orange, new property tax rates would be installed. It would seem logical that city services, which increase upon joining either city, would necessarily cause a property tax increase, but the truth is the state Constitution and state government laws prevent any tax increase or special fee upon annexation.
The only possibility of a tax increase would come from joining a special improvement district in the adjacent city, which is not possible here, since no improvement district exists.
Four years ago, I was involved in an annexation attempt, though smaller in size. During the protest period, the opposition group passed around flyers that proclaimed an immediate property tax increase of more than $1,500 per residence per year upon annexation. This statement was false then and it is still false now.
Even so, it was a major reason that the annexation attempt failed. It is also the major reason I have not been reluctant to work for another annexation. I have no sympathy for those who would pass around such false information.
The opponents of annexation then were told their claim was false and they knew it was false, but it didn’t matter. The lie was believable to enough homeowners who do not follow government or tax matters to end the annexation attempt. I cannot respect people who will knowingly lie to their neighbors in order to achieve their goals.
I have no objection to someone who personally feels in opposition to annexation or who wants a new city stating their views, provided they do not knowingly make false claims to others in the process. They are within their rights to favor or oppose any political action, and they do not need to state their reasons to me or anyone else. My contempt arises from lies designed to further their goals.
It will be interesting to see if the same tactics are used again during the future protest period.
DOUGLAS M. CHAPMAN, North Tustin