West Carlisle, What's in it for us?
A number of issues have faced us that did not need clarification or explanation throughout the entire process: Our desire and right to say no when no improvements are offered through annexation by Des Moines. Our right to choose which community to join with. Our right to representation in an annexation moratorium agreement between Des Moines and Carlisle when the States interpretation affects our homes and properties and also our rights an privileges granted by the Iowa Constitution and Code of Iowa.
Some issues, though, need some clarification because the benefit to West Carlisle and Carlisle wasn't readily apparent when we started. Bringing these issues to light explains some of the hard handed tactics Des Moines has used to place its myopic greed in front of the desires of the residents of West Carlisle and the needs of their own citizens.
- Property Taxes: Relocated 65/69 is creating a mirror image of the I80/I35 area in Urbandale but is better located due to the proximity of the Airport. The businesses that locate along the beltway will use few services compared to residential development yet contribute 43% more tax revenue per thousand than housing will. Commercial property is taxed at 97% of the assessed value while residential is currently at 54%. The result of the commercial corridor will be a prosperous tax structure for a combined Carlisle/ West Carlisle that will allow thoughtful growth with funding, not poorly thought out development because the funds are needed.
- Development: If West Carlisle were to be annexed to Des Moines, that city would entice lucrative and desirable projects to its side of the beltway and still burden the sewer system of Carlisle with that development. When West Carlisle annexes Carlisle we won't be a community competing for development, we will be a community in control of the development.
- School District Taxes: As previously outlined, annexation by Des Moines may result in an $83.28 million impact on our school district in the next two decades due to the abatement policies of Des Moines. That city is already impacting our schools with the development around Easter Lake though some residents there have indicated that they would rather pay the school taxes since their children attend. There is only one way that our school district to can compensate for this deprivation of funding and that will be to continually increase our school taxes (millage)
- Government accountability: I have seen the Des Moines council dismiss the concerns of entire areas because nobody familiar to them spoke of the problem. I have also watched the Carlisle council deliberate issues using not just the name of the concerned person but also the names of the surrounding home owners with familiarity. Having attended both Des Moines and Carlisle city council meetings it is apparent that the Des Moines council governs their city by decree; the Carlisle council governs by being members of, and part of the community.
The success of West Carlisle will ensure that Carlisle will be a prosperous community that controls its own future and schools. That future will also be determined by a majority of the affected citizens who actually live in proximity rather than people living too far away to care what the impact is no matter which way the winds blow. West Carlisle is going to boom with development no matter which city it is annexed to. I just want that development to be of benefit to the entire community of Carlisle not a percentage point in the annual budget of Des Moines.
The account is almost empty.
The account of West Carlisle at the Hartford Carlisle Savings Bank is currently close to empty. I cannot say what funds will be required to finish our appeal to the courts especially if an appeal is made to the Iowa Supreme Court by Des Moines or the State when the court rules in our favor. So far we have expended $10, 000 making the average donation $250 per household though a few have greatly exceeded that average. Any deposit into the account will be appreciated with the excess being donated to the Carlisle Schools when the annexation is completed. Consider it insurance against a spiral of school taxation and heavy handed competition for business development along the beltway along with forcing the state to recognize the rights of the citizens..
Donations can be made to the West Carlisle account # 393452 at the Hartford Carlisle Savings Bank.
John Anderson 266-5348