Frequently Asked Questions - Annexation

Will I be required to hook up to public sewer and/or water?
No.  You can continue to use a septic system and/or well after annexation. Continued use of an existing septic system is allowed unless a health problem is detected by the County Health Department. If you are interested in connecting to the City’s sewer system, the City offers a financial assistance program (SCIP).

If I already receive public sewer and/or water, will I have to change my service provider?
Maybe. Clark Regional Wastewater customers may become city customers.  All other sewer and water district boundaries will remain unchanged.

If there is a sewer and/or water line in the street in front of my property and I am not currently using these public services, do I still get charged a fee?
No. Your property will not be charged for water or sewer service unless connected to the system.

Will my fire service provider be the same?
Maybe. If you are located in the Fire District 5 service area, then you are already being served by the City of Vancouver.  If you are located in the Fire Districts 3 or 6 service area, then your fire service provider will change to the City of Vancouver.

Will I be required to pay for garbage service?
Yes. A subscription to garbage and recycling service is required for all residents in the City of Vancouver. You may choose from many different service levels to suit your needs and budget. Waste Connections will continue to be your service provider (including businesses) if you currently have service, but your rates will change (please see Annexation Analyzer).

I live on a private road.  Will the garbage truck pick up my garbage in front of my home, or will I need to take it to the public road?
Maybe.  To get a response regarding your particular road, please contact Solid Waste Services at 360-696-8186.

If I have a security alarm system in my home or place of business, do I need to register with the City of Vancouver?
Yes.  All security alarm owners must register the alarm and obtain a permit through the Vancouver Police Alarm Unit.  Alarm users need to register within 30-days of being annexed to avoid a $100 penalty.  Please call 487-7403 to obtain a registration form.  Alarm permits are $20 annually.  If you currently have an alarm permit through the Clark County Sheriff’s Office you are encouraged to cancel the permit by calling 360-397-2127.  Please direct security alarm registration questions to the Vancouver Police Alarm Unit at 360-487-7403.

Will my child need to change schools?
No. School district boundaries are independent of city boundaries.

Will my utility bills increase following annexation?
Maybe. The affect of the annexation on your utility bills depends on what services you already receive. Upon annexation, the city’s utility tax rate (currently at 6%) will apply to your electricity, natural gas and telephone bills (please see the Annexation Analyzer on our website). Please direct utility tax questions to Carrie Lewellen with the City’s Financial & Management Services Department (360-619-1082).

  • Water/Sewer – City Water and Sewer service rates are lower inside the City than outside.  If you are currently on Clark Public Utility water or Clark Regional Wastewater District (formally Hazel Dell Sewer), the City’s 15% utility tax will apply.  Residents on City water/sewer already pay this tax regardless of whether they live within the city limits.
  • Storm Water – The City’s residential drainage fee is currently $6.38 per month.  This is generally more expensive than the rate paid by County residents.
  • Electricity/Natural Gas/Telephone – Upon annexation the city’s utility tax rate (currently at 6%) will apply.

Does annexation increase property taxes?
No. Property taxes will decrease following annexation.  Each jurisdiction has a unique mileage rate. The Clark County Assessor sets property valuations without regard to city boundaries. Property taxes are determined by multiplying the property value by the applicable mileage rate (please see Annexation Analyzer on our webpage.)

Does the sales tax rate increase in areas that are annexed?
No. Currently businesses in the city and county apply a 8.4% sales tax rate.

Will I still have to pay the new METRO tax for park development?
Yes.  In February 2005, voters located in the unincorporated Vancouver Urban Growth Boundary approved creation of the METRO tax district and related property tax. (Property owners already located in the City of Vancouver do not pay the METRO tax.) The tax pays for acquisition, development, maintenance and operation costs associated with 36 new facilities to be developed in the METRO district. Additional park needs will be addressed by the city following annexation.

Is Comcast considered a utility for city taxing purposes – for high-speed internet and cable TV?
No. Comcast is considered a utility; however the City collects a franchise fee from Comcast on a quarterly basis in lieu of a utility tax that is applied to the individual customer’s bill.

Will my property still qualify for the various property tax reduction/exemption programs I currently rely on?
Yes. The senior and disabled citizen property tax programs are available state-wide and will continue to apply following annexation.  Other property tax programs such as forestry, open space and agriculture will also continue to apply under the same parameters following annexation.

Will my zoning change?
Typically no. The city will usually assign the same or most similar zoning designation to what currently exists in Clark County.

Will I be forced to get rid of my livestock?
No. Current legal uses will be allowed to continue in the manner that exists at the time of annexation. See Municipal Code Nonconforming Use 20.930.030-C.

Will I have to go through the City’s permit process if I’ve already requested a permit from the County?
No. The city and county work together to ensure that land use applications currently going through county review will transition to the city in a seamless fashion.  Projects currently vested to the county’s standards will not have to conform to the city’s standards unless there is a change to the original proposal.  The City's Development Review Services and Long Range Planning created three brochures and an informational sheet that will answer questions about building in the city after annexation, code enforcement, and then just some of your general questions.

Will I be required to get a business license for my home occupation?
Yes.  All businesses and home occupations located within the city are required to obtain a city business license or file for a business license exemption, if they qualify.  The city license (or exemption) is in addition to any applicable state license and is required at the time annexation goes into effect.  The annual fee for a city license is $125 plus a surcharge of $50 per “employee” or full-time equivalent person working in the city.  See Doing Business in Vancouver - Business Licenses for current City license and exemption guidelines, fees, and forms.

What kind of burning (yard debris, agricultural, etc.) is allowed in the city?
The city doesn’t govern burning; that is the purview of the Southwest Washington Clean Air Agency (www.swcleanair.org or 360-574-3058). Rules on burning do not change upon annexation.

If there is a code enforcement issue in my neighborhood, how can report it?
Uses that were legally established in the county can continue in the city. Changes to uses that were legally established in the county, or uses that were never permitted shall conform to the city standards. City code enforcement action, like the county, is complaint driven. Please direct code enforcement questions to Cindy Meyer with the City's Code Enforcement Department at (360) 487-7855.  Please submit complaints to (360) 487-7810.

Will there be a census done of all newly annexed in areas?
Yes. The City is required under state law to complete a census for each annexed area; typically within 30-days of the annexation going into effect.

Will I have to continue paying my lighting assessment?
Maybe. The City will assume all maintenance and energy costs associated with annexed streets lights as of the effective date of the annexation. This may reduce or eliminate your annual lighting assessment fees. If your lighting district is new (generally less than 10 years old), the installation costs have not been fully repaid to the lighting utility district associated with your property. In those instances, property owners will continue to be billed the annual lighting assessment until the installation costs are repaid.

How will my voice in local government change?
You can vote in city elections. Vancouver citizens can also serve on City Council and 15 city boards and commissions.  Citizens will continue voting in same county, state and federal elections.

Will the Port of Vancouver District be impacted by annexation?
No. Similar to school and library district, the Port District is a separate taxing district that currently includes land located in both the City and County. Annexation does not affect taxes paid to these districts.

Will my car and home insurance go up because of annexation?
No. Most carriers base auto insurance rates on zip code. Homeowner insurance rates are based on issues unrelated to annexation.

How do I become part of a neighborhood association?
Upon annexation, the city will work with all newly annexed in residents, at their request, to establish city neighborhood associations.

When I am annexed into the City and want to build, will my traffic, park, and school impact fees change?

  • No. The school impact fees will be the same.
  • Yes. The park impact fees will increase.
  • Maybe. The traffic impact fees will increase for all residential development in the Evergreen and East City districts, along with mulit-family residential development (only) in the Orchard and Hazel Dell districts; all other traffic impact fee's will remain the same.

Please contact us if you have more questions or want to set up a public meeting or presentation for your neighborhood.

E-mail: Bryan Monroe
Phone: (360) 487-7958