A quick opinion: No representation without taxation

“Just the mention of the City of Winters annexing land to the north has stirred up the citizens, even those that don’t live in town.”

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Just the mention of the City of Winters annexing land to the north has stirred up the citizens, even those that don’t live in town. There is a difference between those of us that live in town and those that live in the county; it is called taxes. Living in the City of Winters isn’t cheap, but we have better services than those that live in the county.

It shouldn’t be them vs. us, but at times it is. We should be good neighbors to each other, with the city supplying commercial opportunities, jobs and services, while the county population supplies open space, farming, jobs, customers and a shared school district.

Someone came into my office last week wanting me to sign a petition. I didn’t read it, but was told it was to stop any annexation by the City of Winters. I knew the person lived in Golden Bear Estates and commented that she didn’t have a say in what Winters does. She didn’t take it well, and wouldn’t admit that she didn’t live in Winters.

“I have a Winters address,” she told me. I explained that she didn’t pay taxes in the City of Winters and didn’t get to vote in Winters. That argument didn’t go over too well and I dropped the subject, but not before asking if she would like Golden Bear Estates to be annexed into the city?

I would love the tax base of Golden Bear, but I’m not sure they would want to pay our 9.5 percent utility tax, our sewer fees, or have to deal with our building department. They might like to be connected to our domestic water supply and our police and fire departments, but I can’t think of too many other advantages for them.

Sure, what Winters does affects those in the county, and what the county does also affects us. When the county allowed dividing one 40 acre home sites into eight home sites, it was scary, but luckily the county stopped the practice in Golden Bear Estates and didn’t allow the rest of the county to subdivide into ranchettes.

Keeping farmers farming can’t be stressed enough, and Yolo County has done a pretty good job of restricting residential development in the county. The county leaves it up to the cities to build residential and commercial facilities and the cities try not to develop on farmland. Sometimes farmland gets in the way, like developing towards Highway 505, but an effort must be made to protect farmland even if it calls for tough decisions by city council members.

I haven’t seen an application for annexation yet, but until that happens, we don’t really know what the developers want, or what Winters gets from annexation. Annexation isn’t always bad, or always good, so we’ll wait and see what the future brings.

Our elected city council has the last say in what happens in Winters, so if you want to vote, move to town.

Have a good week.

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  1. So true. I do have one concern with waiting to hear about the plans for annexation. The excuse has been that the plans are not “final”. However, these types of plans are never final, in fact, they are ever changing even after ground has been broken for the development. Given the amount of flooding we’re experiencing, I feel the plans should be available for public scrutiny at an early stage.

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