Annexation Information


Background

Most all of the Pasco area west of Road 36 was outside the city until 1982, when the city (with the full support of the Franklin County Commission) annexed “the plateau” (the area above the Franklin County Irrigation District canal and west of Road 52). The I-182 freeway was going to be built back then and both the City and County wanted to plan for extension of urban services to accommodate expected development of that new transportation corridor.

In the early 1990s, the state adopted the Growth Management Act (GMA), requiring counties to designate “Urban Growth Areas” (UGA) for each city. Because western Pasco was already surrounded by the city, the Franklin County Board of County Commissioners designated all of it to be within the “Pasco UGA.” About the same time, the city was planning extension of water and sewer services to the plateau and, under GMA, needed to plan for services to all of the UGA (including the donut hole). A board of 5 Franklin County citizens conducted hearings on the City’s plans and, after much public discussion (which included the fact that the city would require annexation commitments from those connecting to the City’s utility systems), the Franklin County board approved both the UGA and the City’s utility plans in 1992.

Since that time, the City has made substantial investments in both its water and sewer systems so it can accommodate future connections in the donut hole area. Its new fire station was located on Road 68 near Argent Road so it would be well-placed to serve the donut hole in the future. In addition, a committee largely composed of non-City residents made recommendations for changes in the City’s rules so that annexation of the donut hole over time would not present significant conflicts with the general lifestyle enjoyed by residents of that area. The Pasco City Council enacted those changes in the mid-1990s and the city has accommodated annexation of about 1-third of the original area (representing more than 1,000 homes and 2,000 people) since that time.

A 2009 state law allows a city, fire district and county to establish a joint agreement to define when a UGA would be annexed and under what conditions. In August 2011, the Pasco City Council invited Franklin County Fire District No. 3 and the Franklin County Commission to enter into discussions to determine if such an agreement can be established for the donut hole, as the City believed an annexation plan would be better for all involved.

Area 2 Annexation

Following the submission of a letter of intent from a group of residents proposing to circulate petitions to form a new city for the donut hole or unincorporated "island", the County Commission suspended its participation in the annexation agreement discussions. Given the County's unwillingness to continue the negotiation process and the possibility of a new city surrounded by Pasco, in June 2012 the City Council approved a "ten percent" notice to begin the process of annexation of a portion of the island known as Annexation Area 2 (click on the thumbnail for the map) using the utility agreements signed by property owners over the past 20 years.

In October 2012, the City Council approved the "sixty percent" notice that annexed Area 2 into the City effective January 1, 2013. Further, In November 2012, the Council approved zoning Area 2 that mirrored the County's large lot, low density residential zoning.

Below are selected cost comparisons between the City and Franklin County; for the full comparsion, download the Cost and Regulatory Comparison, Franklin County "Island" vs City of Pasco here.

The City also sent this flyer in March 2013 to addresses in the City west of Highway 395 in an effort to better educate the public regarding annexation.

2013 Property Tax Comparison

County City
State Schools $2.444 $2.444
County Regular Levy (1) $1.508 $1.508
City Regular Levy (2) - $1.967
TRAC Bonds (expire 12/1/2013) $0.062 $0.062
Courthouse Remodel Bond (expire 12/1/2022) $0.139 $0.139
City Library Bond (expire 12/1/2019) (3) - -
City Fire Station Bond (expire 12/1/2019) (3) - -
City Hall Bond (expire 12/1/2013) (3) - -
Fire District No. 3 $1.110 -
County Road $1.150 -
Mid-Columbia Library (4) $0.378 -
School $6.662 $6.662
Port of Pasco $0.329 $0.329
Mosquito Control $0.166 $0.166
Miscellaneous Assessments (5)

TOTALS $13.948 $13.277

  1. County’s Regular Levy rate is $1.508, but can go up to a statutory maximum of $1.80 depending on the overall assessed value of the County.
  2. City’s Regular Levy rate is $1.967, but can go up to a statutory maximum of $3.60 depending on the overall assessed value of the City. Effective maximum rate for 2013 is $2.37.
  3. City does not require annexed properties to pay for bonds approved by voters prior to annexation (City Resolution No. 3403).
  4. City provides library service through contract with Mid-Columbia Library District without additional property tax.
  5. Miscellaneous Assessments apply as follows:
    -Weed Assessment: paid by both County and City - $5.00 per parcel and $0.30 per acre.
    - Pest Assessment: paid by both County and City - $1.50 per parcel.
    - Ground Water Management Area Assessment: paid by the County only - $5.00 per parcel and $0.10 per acre.

Fees and Taxes Comparison (updated)

The typical household in the annexed area should see little change in fees and taxes. 70% of the homes in the donut hole area are connected to City water and use a septic tank. Below is a 2013 property tax and fee comparison for the County and City, based on the median value home ($212,900):

   City Water & Septic
Well & Septic
City Water & Sewer
 Well & Sewer
Costs
County City County City County City County City
 Property Tax (1)
$2,970 $2,827 $2,970 $2,827 $2,970 $2,827 $2,970 $2,827
 Well (2)
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Water $285 $150 0 0 $285 $150 0 0
Septic Tank (3)
$81  $81 $81 $81 0 0 0 0
Sewer 0 0 0 0 $446 $298 $446 $298
Ambulance (4)
0 $75 0 $75 0 $75 0 $75
Stormwater 0 $47 0 $47 0 $47 0 $47
Solid Waste
$219 $180 $219 $180 $219 $180 $219 $180
Utility Tax (8.5%)
               
Tax on Cable TV (5)
0 $61 0 $61 0 $61 0 $61
Tax on Phone (6)
0 $46 0 $46 0 $46 0 $46
Tax on Electricity/Gas (7)
0 $138 0 $138 0 $138 0 $138
Totals $3,555 $3,605 $3,270 $3,455 $3,920 $3,822 $3,635 $3,672

  1. Property tax (2012) calculated using median value of residential property in the island ($212,900), April 2012.
  2. Well costs for maintenance and electrical use depend on equipment and other factors and are, therefore, not estimated.
  3. Benton Franklin Health Department recommends septic tank pumping (depending on household size) every 3-5 years. Pumping cost is estimated at $325 with tax; assume pumping every 4 years.
  4. City ambulance fee goes to $75 per year on Jan. 1, 2013.
  5. 8.5% City Tax. Assumes expanded basic cable rate ($60/month); utility tax does not apply to satellite TV service or to cable internet service.
  6. 8.5% City Tax. Assumes the monthly taxable phone charge is $45 (Quest land line); utility tax applies to cell phones and land lines, but does not apply to long distance charges or internet phone service.
  7. 8.5% City Tax. Assumes median residential electricity bill per the Franklin PUD (2011); also assumes natural gas energy cost offsets equivalent electricity cost (tax does not apply to propane).
For more information

For other questions, please contact the City of Pasco Community & Economic Development Office at (509) 545-3441.