Everett eyes growth to southeast

EVERETT — About 10,000 residents east of Silver Lake soon may be invited to join the city of Everett for the largest single annexation in the city’s history.

Everett is considering cashing in on a state sales tax rebate for mega-annexations, which would allow it to keep millions of tax dollars that otherwise would go to Olympia.

On Thursday, the Silver Lake Action Committee is set to talk about the implications of being swallowed by Everett, including the effects on property taxes and police and fire protection.

Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson is scheduled to speak at the neighborhood meeting.

“Most people think it will be a good thing,” said David Chrisman, chairman of the Silver Lake neighborhood group. “A lot of people already have Everett on their address, but don’t get the amenities.”

Chrisman, who lives in the unincorporated Greenwood Park subdivision off 116th Street SE, is an example. He pays $100 a year to be able to check out materials from Everett Public Library. If his home were annexed, he would not be charged for a library card.

Still, he said people want to know how being annexed would affect their taxes. They also want to know about how annexation would affect police and fire service and response times, he said.

Everett City Council President Drew Nielson said it is likely people who are annexed into the city could see improved services without paying higher taxes.

Allan Giffen, Everett’s planning and community development director, said the owner of a $400,000 home could expect to pay about $250 less per year in property taxes in the city than in the county. It could be a wash, he said, if you include utility taxes, which city residents pay.

The City Council is expected to vote soon on whether to pursue annexation of the Eastmont, Hilton Lake and Rugg’s Lake areas between 19th and 35th avenues SE. It may also look at annexing the area east of 35th Avenue SE and south of 100th Street SE and north of 116th Street SE.

The move follows a fiscal analysis that concludes revenues generated from property taxes, sales taxes and other sources in the communities could pay for providing basic services to annexed areas.

Before any annexations take place, people who own property inside the affected areas would get to vote on whether to join Everett. A state board also would have to give its blessing.

November 2009 is the soonest city officials say they will ask residents to vote on an annexation.

Reporter David Chircop: 425-339-3429 or dchircop@heraldnet.com.

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