What is Annexation?

Thank you for considering annexing to the City of Happy Valley. There are a variety of reasons why annexation is a “hot topic” and makes sense for a property owner in unincorporated Clackamas County, but first let us explain what it is:

Annexation is the process by which cities extend their municipal services, regulations, voting privileges and taxing authority to new territory.

Reasons cities annex land:

  • Apply zoning and development standards, including environmental protection
  • Create efficiency in service delivery, particularly for public safety services
  • Maximize the return on the City’s investment in infrastructure and business incentives, and/or
  • Provide municipal services beyond those available in unincorporated county areas.

Why Happy Valley?

The City of Happy Valley was originally incorporated in 1965. In the years since, the City has gained valuable experience in operating as a local government with a continued emphasis on customer service. Other advantages include:

Low Property Tax Rate

A major advantage to owning a home or property, or operating a business in Happy Valley is our tax rate of $0.67 per $1,000 assessed value is the second lowest municipal rate in the Portland Metropolitan Region. Depending on the specific property being annexed, the full impacts could be different.

Is your property in the urban unincorporated area of Clackamas County?

Property owners annexing from urban unincorporated areas of Clackamas County who are part of the Enhanced Law Enforcement District could expect to see an approximate tax increase of $0.80 per $1,000 of assessed value of property. Here is what makes up that difference:
+ $0.67 for City Services
+ $ 1.38 for dedicated Police Service Levy (voted on every five-years)
– $0.70 for leaving the County’s Enhanced Law Enforcement District
– $0.55 in overall County Taxes for joining a City
= $0.80 total increase (please note this is approximate)
This means an owner of a residence or land with an assessed value of $300,000 would be assessed an additional $240 per year to receive city services.

Is your property in the former City of Damascus?

Property owners annexing from the former City of Damascus could expect to see an approximate tax increase of $1.5045 per $1,000 of assessed value of property. Here is what makes up that difference:
+ $0.67 for City Services
+ $ 1.38 for dedicated Police Services
– $0.55 in overall County Taxes for joining a City
= $1.5045 total increase (please note this is approximate)
This means an owner of a residence or land with an assessed value of $300,000 would be charged an additional $450 per year to receive city and police services.

* There are numerous taxing district boundaries and exact property tax impacts should be verified with the Clackamas County Assessment & Taxation Office.

Efficient Government Service

Efficiency and effectiveness have been ingrained within the City’s culture due to very high growth rates experienced since the mid 1980’s. In fact, Happy Valley continues to be one of the fastest growing cities in the state. This type of explosive growth has necessitated a “can-do” attitude that is oftentimes lacking in government services.

Community Involvement

Perhaps the greatest benefit of annexation is being a part of the Happy Valley community, which places a high value on quality of life and community spirit.

Benefits to You

Increased Police Protection

The most direct benefit of joining Happy Valley is increased police protection. Residents and businesses enjoy around-the clock law enforcement coverage and a higher ratio of residents to patrol officers than experienced in unincorporated areas of Clackamas County (1,500:1 versus 2,700:1), which positively impacts response time.

Increased Public Services: Code Enforcement, Public Works, and More

Happy Valley employs three code enforcement officers for the city and citizens can count on a timely response to reports of violations of city codes. Our Public Works department provides a wide range of services and programs including maintaining our streets, parks, trails, open spaces, and City facilities.

Have a Voice

As part of a city the size of Happy Valley, you’ll have more input into the decisions that matter to you. At the city level, you can have direct access to decision-makers – something you may not get now.

Be Part of a Carefully Planned Future

We’re staying on top of our city’s growth, with a clear vision of our future and the kind of city we want to build and maintain. Even with the fastest growth rate of any city in the state, Happy Valley has been able to maintain the quality of community expected by its residents and business leaders.

 

The welcome mat is out!

If you are considering annexing your neighborhood or property into Happy Valley, give us a call. We are happy to answer your questions about the process.

Michael D. Walter, AICP Economic & Community Development Director

(503) 783-3839