Northfield offers about $96K in tax reimbursement to Greenvale in annexation deal

Greenvale Township’s supervisors and Northfield city officials drew closer to reaching an agreement at the end of a fifth annexation negotiation meeting at the township hall on Tuesday night.

“I think we’re looking at a win-win,” Brian O’Connell, Northfield’s community development director, said after the meeting.

O’Connell and Joel Walinski, Northfield’s interim city administrator, offered a new payment plan to reimburse Greenvale for the property taxes it will lose when 530 acres of undeveloped farmland goes onto the city’s tax rolls. Northfield would like to attract industrial developers to the site.

The proposed payment plan would reimburse Greenvale in the amount of about $3,854 a year for five years. That figure is the amount of money Greenvale currently collects in taxes on the property. In the sixth year, Northfield would pay a “balloon payment” that would equal about 20 more years of annual payments. In all, Northfield would pay Greenvale about $96,362, using today’s property tax rate figure.

That amount is significantly higher than the $7,708 figure O’Connell and Walinski presented at first, which would have met the state minimum requirement of reimbursing a township for two years.

O’Connell said Northfield could manage to budget for the balloon payment expenditure in six years. He said he thought offering Greenvale a large lump sum in the annexation deal was a good way to find “mutual ground” between the desires of both communities.

Greenvale’s three supervisors appeared happy with the offer, but said they would have to investigate if the township would be allowed by law to accept such a large lump sum of money. They also were unsure if they would be able to invest the money as they pleased.
“We might be required to use it to lower taxes,” Supervisor Robert Winter said.

O’Connell and Walinski said they would compose a new draft of the agreement while the township found out about its ability to receive large payments. Walinski said he hoped to see the annexation process complete in February. City Council will have final say on the terms of the agreement.

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