After 10 years of discussion, Yolo County should agree to annex the West Village housing project to the city.
The university stated it would only agree to annexation if the county and the Davis City Council come to an agreement. The council is willing, but the county refuses.
The city will lose revenue with or without annexation, but at least it will receive more money under annexation.
Davis will receive $240,000 in vehicle license fees from the state. Future West Village residents, living on the outskirts of Davis, will be primarily driving in Davis. This money should be used in the city.
Yolo County should allow the city to collect the vehicle fees in order to benefit the residents. If the project is not annexed, the county will collect $232,000 each year in property taxes, which may not be in the best interests of West Village’s residents. Even if the county must give up this money, non-annexation would present more problems.
Without annexation, the city would not have direct oversight of West Village’s functions.
City Council proposed a special assessment district that would allow residents to vote on taxes and fees that affect them. This is a step in making the project and annexation more financially appealing.
Annexation should include city services, since the project is university housing and residents will be working and studying in Davis. Councilmembers can then discuss which and to what extent these services should be offered. If the residents will rely on Davis food and services, they should be allowed to vote in city elections. Otherwise, the university will decide the amounts in fees and taxes the residents must pay.
Nevertheless, the university would maintain its land-use authority even considering annexation. A decision will then allow the city and university to discuss exactly how to split or share taxes and authority.
The clock is ticking for another year until the state will withhold the vehicle license fee money. The three entities must come to a decision – and move on – if they don’t want to be stuck in a lose-lose situation.