The annexation, imposed in September 2006, added 184 acres to the city. Danville Aviation employees now will pay a 1 percent city payroll tax, and pilots who park their planes there must pay a 12 percent municipal insurance tax, the highest rate in the state.
If the airport board fails to get the annexation ordinance rescinded, the property tax will appear on bills this fall.
The reason the city gave for the annexation was to raise funds to purchase a new fire truck with a built-in foam system, used to put out jet fuel fires, according to a report of a council meeting in January 2007.
Mayor G.G. Harmon declined to comment on the annexation and said the city is in the process of obtaining a new attorney. He said access to public records was unavailable because the city clerk is on vacation.
No ordinances nor a public hearing pertaining to the annexation have been published in this newspaper as required by state law.
Powell said industry will not want to locate here because of the higher expenses.
The aviation business will lose revenue if the airplanes move out, and the airport will lose from rental on the planes.
Aircraft and taxation
Powell said some people are under the impression that since airplanes are registered in Oklahoma, they pay tax there. That's not so, said Powell. The aircraft are taxed where they are based.
Powell recalls discussing the possibility of city sewer service for the airport a few years ago with then-mayor Dale Walls. However, the matter was dropped when Walls indicated the city wanted to annex the property in exchange for the sewer service.
The matter came up again later after the sewer system began to cause more problems for the airport. Before that deal was worked out, though, the city of Danville purchased Junction City's water and sewer service.
Powell said the airport board was not notified of the proposed annexation or a public hearing. He recently received a copy of the annexation ordinance, but he thinks it's a little late.
Planes may relocate
Powell anticipates that many of the more than 40 airplanes kept at the airport may find other places to be housed.
"There is quite a bit involved," he said. "The big issue is when we're looking for new industry that will park corporate airplanes at the small airport. Tax on the airplanes is substantial."
Whenever an aircraft is based at an airport, the company pays tax to the city. The larger corporations look at the bottom line on everything, especially at unusual expenses pertaining to taxation if there are not benefits in return, he said.
"One corporation is already making arrangements to move its airplane," Powell said. "This also means a loss of employees."
Annexation "will not hurt owners of small airplanes that much, but it could be a great deterrent for the economic development in the future," said Powell.
The airport has its own fire department and shares equipment with the Boyle County Fire District, Powell said.
Powell said he has explained the airport board's plight and the future of industry to the Junction City Council. He also has asked the city to rescind the annexation ordinance, but no action was taken at a recent meeting because an attorney for the city was not present. The council told Powell it would check on the ordinance again later.
"I think the City Council's intention was sincere, but it didn't look at the long-range plan," Powell said of the annexation.
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Procedure for annexation
State law says any city of the second through sixth class may extend its boundaries if the property:
* Is contiguous to the boundaries of the city at the time annexation proceedings are begun;
* Is urban in character or suitable for development for urban purposes without unreasonable delay; and
* Does not include any territory within another incorporated city.
When the preliminary requirements are met, the city must:
* Enact an ordinance stating its intention to annex.