At their August 22 meeting, the board voted to adopt a budget of $124.2 million for the 2018-19 fiscal year. The board lowered the ad valorem tax rate from 23 cents per $100 valuation to 22.73 cents, the lowest rate in the history of The Woodlands Township.
The 22.73 rate is the same as the effective tax rate provided by the County Tax Assessor/Collector’s office. The lower tax rate will offset the increase in appraised property value for the average homeowner in The Woodlands. Meanwhile, the township will still generate more revenue from new properties added to The Woodlands tax roll over the past year.
The fiscal responsibility of the township has increased significantly since tea party-backed candidates won a majority of the seats and elected Gordy Bunch as board chairman in 2016. Examples of taxpayer friendly policies implemented by Bunch and the board’s current conservative majority include a hefty budget cut last year and reappraisals for homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey.
From 2010 to 2015, the townships tax rate had hovered around 30 cents, which resulted in higher tax bills due to rising property values each year. That began to change as conservatives started to exert more influence in The Woodlands. The tax rate has remained at 23 cents since 2016.
The most recent tax rate passed by a 6-1 vote, with Director Carol Stromatt casting the lone no vote. Stromatt is the only Democrat on the township board.
Stromatt’s vote against the tax cut is a reminder that elections have consequences. Although liberals like Stromatt often claim to be “fiscally responsible” when running for local, non-partisan offices, their voting records once elected often tell a different story.
Four seats on the township board will be on the November 6, 2018 General Election ballot. Position 2 Director Brian Boniface is being challenged by Treva Taglieri; Position 3 incumbent John Brown is being challenged by Luis Granados; and Position 4 incumbent Bruce Rieser is being challenged by Frank Dargavage. Bunch is running unopposed for re-election to Position 1.
“I want to thank my fellow Directors and professional township staff for their hard work and commitment in approving another exemplary budget that includes enhanced services and preparation for future growth,” said Bunch. “The Woodlands Township is committed to its residents and businesses in creating a community that enhances quality of life while increasing overall value.”