Welcome to the City of Massillon
Annexation Answer Page
Annexation to Massillon -- What it would mean
Government that meets your needs
Professional police and fire protection
Greater representation that is responsive to you
Identification with a strong and growing City
AREA OF THE CITY
OF MASSILLON OHIO
IN ACRES AND SQUARE MILES
TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
To better serve the citizens of Massillon
and the surrounding areas, the City of Massillon has provided these
answers to many of the frequently asked questions about annexation.
1) What does annexation mean?
ANNEXATION HAS MANY BENEFITS.
Annexation occurs when citizens of an unincorporated area (a township)
petition to become part of a neighboring city. It is a matter of
landowner rights. When the landowners in an area near a City determine
it is in their best interests, they petition to be annexed.
2) Must I be notified before my
property can be annexed?
YES. When an annexation is
proposed, (whether by private citizens or the City government) the
land owners of the area are notified. This is because the land owners
usually have a meeting with city officials to express their opinions
about annexation. If a majority of landowners in an area desire
annexation, an annexation petition is prepared and signed after
a public hearing.
3) How does annexation work?
OHIO ANNEXATION LAW PROTECTS THE
RIGHTS OF PROPERTY OWNERS. Annexation occurs using strict procedures
under the Ohio Revised Code. In order to start an annexation, some
part of the proposed area for annexation must touch the city's existing
borders. A majority of the land owners in the proposed area must
agree by signing a petition for annexation. The petition is then
sent to the Stark County Board of Commissioners for approval. Notifications
and publication of the petition and the hearing required by law
are made. Then, after a public hearing, the annexation is granted
and the City accepts the properties into the City.
4) What happens to my real estate
taxes upon annexation to Massillon?
YOU SAVE MONEY. Generally,
real estate taxes are lower for landowners in the City of Massillon
than for landowners in the townships because they have to pay for
levies through their real estate taxes. Your property value stays
the same or goes up upon annexation. Some examples:
Current Township DECREASE upon annexation to Massillon
and School DistrictTax
for $1000 valuation for $50,000 residence
per year per year
-Perry Local $1.17 less $ 58.50 saved
-Massillon City $0.53 less $ 26.50 saved
-Tuslaw Local $0.99 less $ 49.50 saved
-Fairless Local $3.50 less* $175.00 saved
-Jackson Local $2.36 less $118.00 saved
-Tuslaw Local $0.34 less $ 17.00 saved
-Massillon City $0.12 more $ 6.00 cost
-Fairless Local $4.00 less* $200.00 saved
* taxing district not yet established by Stark County Auditor
5) Will my child attend the same school if my property is annexed
YES. Your child will continue
to attend the same school. School districts do not change due to
municipal annexation. However, because the State of Ohio has an
open enrollment policy, your child could change school districts
if you so desired. Portions of the City of Massillon are in Jackson
Local, Perry Local and Tuslaw Local School Districts. Massillonians
are Tigers, Polar Bears, Panthers, and Mustangs!
6) Will annexation benefit the
YES. Annexation generally means
growth for the area through new construction. Since most annexations
contain some undeveloped land, eventual development of that land
adds to the tax base of the City and the School District. Of course,
until development of vacant lands occur, the effect on the School
District is neutral -- the schools continue to receive the same
funding from the annexed land as before annexation.
7) How will my sanitary sewer rates
be affected if my property is annexed into Massillon?
YOU SAVE MONEY. The City of
Massillon has lower sewer rates than does Stark County. By the existing
agreement between the City of Massillon and Stark County, you will
become a City sewer customer upon annexation.
Compare rates per year: Massillon Stark County
Single Family Residence $109.50 $180.36
Two Family Residence (duplex) $213.00 $360.72
Apartment Building with two or more units $213.00 $180.36 for
+$70.00 each every unit
Hook up fee for single family residence $50.00 $470-$650
Inspection fee None $100
*Owning a single family residence in the City of Massillon saves you
39% on sewer rates.
*Owning a two family residence (duplex) in the City saves you
41% on sewer rates.
*Owning a multiple family residence (apartment building) in the
City saves you 48%+.
*There is no cost for a new sewer service trunk for adjacent
landowners in the City of Massillon.
8) I have a septic system that
works fine. Can I keep it if my property is annexed?
YES. The EPA requires that
any person whose property line is within 200 feet of a sanitary
sewer system must hook up to the system, regardless of whether you
live in a township or city. The City of Massillon is committed to
eventually extending sanitary sewer to all city residents. However,
some areas added to the City through annexation are still served
by functioning septic systems. If your septic system fails, you
will have to replace it at considerable cost (between $8,000-$12,000).
Upon annexation, the City of Massillon can provide you with sanitary
sewer hook-up to your property for $50, compared to the County's
fee of $470-$650. You then pay the annual fee outlined in question
5 in quarterly installments.
9) I keep horses and other livestock
on my land. Will I be able to keep them upon annexation to Massillon?
YES. By Ohio law, the City
must allow you to continue any legal use of your land that you maintained
in the township. Your current zoning classification from the township
will continue until it is brought under the City zoning classification
that is closest to the township zoning class. You will then have
the option of requesting a different zoning classification if you
10) I have a farm. Does annexation
YES, YOU BENEFIT. Farming has
long been a vital part of the City of Massillon's commercial and
cultural heritage. Massillon was perhaps the first City in Ohio
to adopt an "agricultural" zoning classification (in 1985).
To date, a number of landowners in the City have requested and received
agricultural zoning. Typical "city" restrictions have
been removed or relaxed for agricultural lands in the City. You
can still farm commercially, hunt, trap, discharge firearms, and
perform all of the farming functions as in the townships. And "city"
services and amenities are available.
11) How does paying a city income
tax benefit me?
YOU CAN SAVE MONEY. Particularly
on property taxes. The reason that property taxes in cities are
generally lower (in many cases by a great deal) than in the townships
is that taxes on income mean less taxes on property. The income
tax is seen as fairer than property taxes by most taxpayers. The
income tax is only on earned income (investments, retirement/pension
fund payments and social security payments are not taxed), so retirees
generally do not pay city income taxes. Also, the income tax is
a flat tax, meaning everyone pays the same rate. There is no penalty
for earning more. Further, the income tax is on people who work
in the City and use our City services and resources. They, too,
pay a fair share meaning City residents have to pay less to provide
the same level of services. And the current 1.8% tax can only be
increased by a vote of the people, which is how the current tax
was approved. If you already work in a city that has an income tax,
like Canton (2%) or Akron (2%), you do not pay any additional income
tax to the City of Massillon, because Massillon grants full credit
for municipal income taxes paid through their workplace outside
of Massillon. If you work in a city with a lower income tax rate
than Massillon (North Canton has 1.5%) you pay only the difference
between Massillon's tax rate and that city's rate. For example,
if you work in North Canton, you would pay 0.3% to Massillon. If
you work in the City of Massillon, you already pay this income tax.
You DO NOT pay twice.
12) How does City government compare
with township government?
CITY GOVERNMENT IS MORE RESPONSIVE
TO YOUR NEEDS. A city is run by a Mayor elected every four years,
and nine Council-members elected every two years. Of the nine Council
Members, six are "ward" Council Member whose specific
job it is to represent your interests and those of your neighborhood;
only the voters of that ward vote to elect that representative.
Administrative duties are shared by elected officials (Auditor,
Treasurer, Law director) and various appointed officials who provide
technical expertise. Nearly all of these are full-time officials
and employees. City Departments provide the services and amenities
that are part of City life. Because Cities have "home rule",
an important Constitutional right not available to townships, the
citizens of a City can determine the type and amount of government
they desire. They are not limited in the services they can choose.
There is a strict separation between the lawmaking and administrative
roles. Thus, your representatives make the laws and other officials
(mostly full-time) are responsible for carrying out the services.
Township government is run by three
Township Trustees and a Clerk-Treasurer elected every four years.
No one Trustee represents you specifically or is accountable directly
to you. You must compete for a Trustee's attention along with all
other township residents. Part-time Township Trustees are charged
by law with combined lawmaking as well as administrative duties.
So it is more difficult to provide a high level of services to their
citizens. Services are restricted to those specifically permitted
by the Ohio Revised Code. The Township form of government was designed
and intended (and works best) in sparsely populated rural areas.
With the urbanization of the area, many feel that Township government
is not responsive to their needs.
13) Would Massillon City government benefit ME?
YES. City government provides
many services, funded by its income tax, that townships simply cannot
offer. The City of Massillon provides a Community Development Department,
Building Department, Economic Development Department, Street Department,
Engineering Department, Safety Department, Sewer Department, Planning
Department, Waste Collection Department, Parks and Recreation Department
and its own Health Department. Massillon also provides street lights
to its residents. In addition to these resources, the City of Massillon
is served by a Law Director, as well as Building and Zoning Inspectors.
Little, if any, of these services are provided by townships.
Among the greatest advantages of living
in the City of Massillon versus a township are the services of its
Police and Fire Departments. Massillon's Police Department is 55
officers strong. While Jackson and Perry Townships offer full-time
police departments (although limited in size), townships like Tuscarawas
and Bethlehem have limited, if any, full-time police protection
and are served by the County Sheriff.
Massillon is proud of its 48 full-time firemen and paramedics. While
Jackson Township does offer a full-time fire department, Perry,
Tuscarawas and Bethlehem Townships are served by volunteer departments.
It stands to reason that a full-time fire department and paramedics
that is manned 24 hours a day, with strategically placed fire stations,
would have faster response times than those of a volunteer department.
Response times for the City of Massillon Fire Department are approximately
2 and a half minutes in nearly all cases.
Finally, when it comes to providing
services for citizens of Massillon, City government has broad authority
to respond to its citizens and their needs. The City can adopt its
own criminal and traffic ordinances to better serve its taxpayers.
Townships are limited to the State's already existing code of law,
and have no authority to adopt ordinances that could better serve
the local community.
14) I want to have my property
annexed to Massillon -- how do I start?
Contact the City of Massillon's Annexation
Consultant or the Mayor's office at the numbers listed below and
tell them that you are interested in annexation. They are here to
assist you in getting an annexation area proposed and starting a
Have more questions?
Kathy Catazaro-Perry, Mayor
office: (330) 830-1700
home: (330) 832-3373
Community Development Department
Massillon City Council
Community Development and
office: (330) 830-1734