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DATE News (chronologically)
11/09/12
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City Council to take up annexing Circuit of the Americas UPDATE In a deal that adds tens of millions of dollars to the property tax rolls, the Austin City Council on Thursday unanimously approved annexing about 1,500 acres in southeastern Travis County that include Circuit of the Americas.

The annexation also extends the city’s regulatory authority on the 3.4-mile racetrack, which is scheduled to host its first Formula One race Nov. 16-18.

The circuit property was valued at $92.2 million this year, with a taxable value of $80.7 million, records show. Annexation will take effect Dec. 17.

Sales tax in the area is 8.25 cents a dollar. Capital Metro would get a cent and the city would get a half cent of those collections, city officials have said. City spokeswoman Roxanne Evans did not immediately have an estimate on how much the circuit will generate in annual sales tax revenue.

The annexation by the city takes the circuit out of southeastern Travis County’s Emergency Service District No. 11, costing the district a huge source of revenue for the area, while adding traffic jams and large crowds when races are held.

Ken Bailey, chief of the area’s Travis County Fire Rescue, said he hopes Austin will enter into a revenue-sharing agreement with his fire department, which has a station near the circuit on Elroy Road.

Bailey’s department is funded solely on property and sales taxes from the district.

“How are we going to get resources to the community when the roads are closed? The only way to do that is to stage people ahead of time,” Bailey said Thursday.

The department estimates that putting fire trucks and personnel in the neighborhoods near the circuit ahead of events could cost as much as $300,000 a year, Bailey said. “We have more risk and less tax dollars.”

The city of Austin had considered annexing the property last year but backed off after deciding it made more to sense to wait until the land was further developed, a city spokesman said at the time. The delay also happened amid questions about whether financing for the track was in jeopardy.

Council members on Thursday annexed about 1,521 acres, 73 acres less than what they considered in October. Evans did not know why the annexed area was smaller than originally considered.

Most of the annexed land is owned by Circuit of the Americas. The rest of the annexed area is between the circuit’s land and the city limits — state-owned land and a privately held parcel used for agriculture, according to city documents.

Annexing those areas was necessary as cities can only annex contiguous land. The Statesman

10/09/12 The Austin City Council will hold the first of two public hearings this week on annexing Circuit of the Americas, a racetrack under construction in southeastern Travis County. 

At its meeting Thursday, council members will consider annexing 1,587 acres, most of which is owned by the circuit. Because the city must annex contiguous land, the council will also consider annexing state-owned land and one privately held parcel between the current city limits and the circuit.

Annexation extends the city’s regulatory authority on the site and will add the $300 million track to its tax rolls starting next year.

A second public hearing is on the draft agenda for the council’s Oct. 18 meeting. If approved, the annexation’s effective date would be Dec. 17, city spokeswoman Roxanne Evans said.

The city had considered annexing the circuit property last year but backed off after deciding it made more to sense to wait until the land was further developed, a city spokesman said at the time. The move to put the annexation on hold, last November, also happened amid questions about whether financing for the track was in jeopardy.

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