Council chambers were packed with residents in red who oppose the forced annexation of Monkey Junction. All but one council member voted to move forward with the annexation process. Council member, Kristi Tomey, voted against it. "It is not going to solve the sales tax revenue distribution which is truly the problem which is why the city has to go out and do annexations." It was not until after the council's vote that the public could speak up. There was a mix of opinions, including support of annexing about 1,000 acres and 4,000 residents. "Are my neighbors aware than 85 percent of retail sales are made in the city? The city only retains 20 percent of that tax. The county gets 80 percent," said annexation supporter, Owen Wexler. Those who are against it didn't hesitate to speak up, either. Russ Hauptman said, "All of these problems will not be solved by annexation. You annex, there's still problems." "The current economic circumstance the country finds itself in, this is hardly the time to add to anybody's tax burden," added Joan Frenson. But the process is now moving forward; the battle lines have been drawn. Tuesday night's vote established the date for a public information session in March and public hearing in April. A final annexation vote in scheduled for May.
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