The city of Jeffersonville, Indiana, has approved the annexation of more than 7,800 acres of nearby land -- a move that will increase the population by more than a third. Many of the people to be annexed are calling the move a land and money grab.
"The annexation of about 9,000 residents, mostly east of the current city limits, has been described by supporters as a vital step in preparing for the rapid growth expected as construction begins on new Ohio River bridges in the next few years."
"Opponents have attacked it as a land grab that will impose higher taxes on thousands of households for city services they don't want."
"Council member Connie Sellers said she thinks annexation is "essential" for Jeffersonville's future. The annexation will expand municipal services, including police and fire protection, to parts of Clark County that are growing rapidly, Sellers and others have said."
"It also will extend city planning and zoning and storm-drainage improvements."
"The annexation is expected to add 42 percent to Jeffersonville's tax base, increasing the city's property-tax revenue by more than $4 million a year."
"Before last night's meeting, Bruce Herdt, an annexation opponent who lives in Oak Park Conservancy, an area that has its own sewage system, said he isn't convinced by supporters' arguments. 'They've not really come up with any reason why we need to be part of Jeffersonville,' he said."
"Herdt said extending Jeffersonville planning and zoning to Oak Park to guide growth "is absurd," as there is no open space left there to develop."