xml:space="preserve">
The Lake County city has put out the welcome mat to new businesses by waiving annexation fees.
The Lake County city has put out the welcome mat to new businesses by waiving annexation fees.

Strike the annexation fee budget line if you plan to move your business into the City of Umatilla in Lake County.

The City Commission voted this month to continue waiving fees for businesses that agree to become part of the North Lake County city on the edge of the Ocala National Forest.

Advertisement

The enticement has been in place since August 2011 and since its enactment eight properties have joined the city.

"We have done this for quite a few years," said City Clerk Karen Howard. "It gives us an opportunity to extend the city limits. Because we waived the fees, some of them were interested in coming into the city."

All but two of the annexations are expected to generate property tax well in excess of the fees that would only be collected once, said the city's agenda for the vote.

It's true that two of the annexations are non-taxable, Whistling Pines Church and property contiguous to it owned by Commissioned Beyond Borders. But even those annexations helped the city's annexation mission, said Howard. They created bridges to other property that is now eligible to annex because they are now contiguous to the city's limits.

Just considering the five most recent annexations, city officials say that it has lost out on $15,600 in one-time fees since 2012, but gained $17,195.51 in tax revenue through 2015 and the tax payments come yearly.

Teresa Burney can be reached at teresaburney4@gmail.com or at 352-455-1955.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement