THE WOODLANDS – Incorporating The Woodlands to become its own city will be on the ballot this November.
It’s an important vote since The Woodlands businesses and residents could be affected by this potential change.
Residents said the vote is a big deal. One man said he likes the township as it is now, and another person said residents should be in control.
Just north of Houston, you’ll find The Woodlands Township, established in 1974. Some residents like Bob Milner want the township to become the City of The Woodlands.
“Well, I think the most critical piece is letting the residents be in control of what the resident wants,” Milner said.
Montgomery County Commissioner for Precinct 3, James Noack, said the proposition is unnecessary.
“If an incorporation were to happen, not only is it going to be a massive tax increase, but you are going to change the face of law enforcement in The Woodlands forever,” he said.
The township published a chart on their website that displays the differences between The Woodlands Township and the possibility. The tax rate would remain the same, according to the chart.
“All of the business owners in Montgomery County are going to face higher taxes. Any increase in a tax bill, who’s going to pay it? We are,” Noack said.
“It would really have little no effect on business. That’s a false negative that’s being spread by people who are against incorporation, but where it really would impact people is at the resident level,” Milner said.
KPRC 2 asked people what they think about keeping The Woodlands a township or making it a city.
“I’m currently against it, and the reason why (is because) I feel like it’s rushed,” Patrick Stites said.
“I don’t care what the city (does) as long as the city remains clean,” another resident said.
The Woodlands Township will host an Incorporation Informational Meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center located at 1601 Lake Robbins Drive. Residents and businesses are invited to attend to learn more about future governance in The Woodlands and the November election.
To read more about the Woodlands Township, click here.
Jim Carman, President of the Houston Region for The Howard Hughes Corporation®, issued an open letter to residents of The Woodlands®, opposing the rushed incorporation of the state’s only township.
“The Woodlands Township Board of Directors’ recent decision to hastily put incorporation on November’s ballot has placed the future of The Woodlands as we know it at risk, with an unnecessary and costly proposal to needlessly change the fundamental nature of our exceptional community. We cannot afford to make the wrong decision.”
“The success of The Woodlands has not happened by accident. Our unique governance model was designed to deliver outstanding services while keeping property taxes low and avoiding the overreach of government bureaucracy, in keeping with founder George Mitchell’s vision to deliver the very best environment for families and businesses to thrive.”
“We are a thriving community because The Woodlands is NOT a traditional city. The system of governance we enjoy today in The Woodlands should be replicated, not eliminated. If we vote to incorporate, the decision would be permanent.”
“We have read the Incorporation Planning Study prepared under the guidance of The Woodlands Township Board of Directors. It represents a fundamental and extremely risky change to budget and forecasting models which have served The Woodlands well. The flawed study wants us to believe—without the data to prove—that a future “City of The Woodlands” could somehow maintain our current levels of service and safety without a tax increase and at a significantly lower tax rate than our ‘peer cities’.”
“The bottom line is that incorporation is a needless and costly proposal to ‘fix what ain’t broke’ and forever change a community that has thrived by keeping taxes low and government small.”
“In my conversations with local business owners and residents, the fear of annexation by the city of Houston is often mentioned as a reason to become a city. The truth is that forced annexation is illegal under state law, meaning The Woodlands cannot be annexed without the consent of our citizens at the ballot box. Incorporation is not necessary to protect us from annexation, nor is there an impending deadline or threat to our way of life that necessitates this rushed vote.”