Recently conditional transitional tax benefits were verbally offered by city staff to two property owners in the annexation area, first to Donald L. Thomas Jr. and later to Edna M. Todd. The benefits were not offered in written form and were not offered at the same time to all parties involved in the annexation. No mention of council approval of these benefits can be found in city council minutes posted on the City of Ankeny website. It is unknown if these benefits were offered to all parties or petitioners involved in the annexation. Iowa code clearly indicates that transitional tax benefits are to be authorized by city council. The inconsistent, undocumented and untimely offering of transitional tax benefits that were conditional on signing of a voluntary petition have tainted the annexation process.
It seems as though the legislature was attempting to prevent coercive methods from being used in annexation proceedings when it recently amended Iowa law to prevent the granting of conditional transitional tax benefits.
to be no record of council approval of the offering of transitional tax
benefits. City of Ankeny officials appear to have acted in an unethical
and unprofessional manner. Donald L. Thomas Jr. stated to Edna Todd that
he felt coerced into signing a petition for voluntary annexation due to
the threat of having to pay a large lump sum special assessment, which he
could not afford. Iowa law was recently changed to prevent the coercive
use of conditional tax benefits during the annexation process.
Finally, the City of Ankeny did not even have ordinances in force for the class of airport that currently exists on the Todd’s Flying Service Inc. property at the time of annexation. Why did the city annex a class of property without having any zoning ordinances that applied to the property. At best, this is an example of poor city planning. If the city passes a new ordinance that is more restrictive later, the airport might have to close down. This will deprive the area of a much needed resource. Todd’s Flying Service Inc. performs a much needed service to Polk county area farmers. Todd’s Flying Service sprayed 62,000 acres in 2006.
Email Carl Metzger at