Woodlands Township tax rate in 2023 will drop below rate with no new income

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The Woodlands Township Board of Directors set a proposed maximum property tax rate of $0.1875 per $100 of assessment for fiscal year 2023 at its August 24 budget workshop, and it will adopt the rate at early September, officials said.

Because the rate is lower than the rate with no new revenue, which would generate the same amount of revenue as the previous fiscal year, no public hearing is needed, officials said. The rate is a 16% decrease from the 2022 rate of $0.2231, and is the lowest in the township’s 12-year history, officials said.

“You can’t go higher than what you’re offering today, but you can go lower,” said township president and CEO Monique Sharp.

The fiscal year in Woodlands Township runs from January to December.

Tax rates for entities across the region, such as Conroe ISD, have fallen this year as property assessments have risen. From 2021 to 2022, the average market value of properties increased by 29.8% and 21%, respectively, in Montgomery and Harris counties, according to data from the county’s assessment districts.

The proposed budget for 2023 includes funding for several initiatives, such as improvements to fire stations and parks and recreation facilities.

On the second day of budget workshops on August 23, the board discussed approximately $10 million in immediate needs for the Woodlands Fire Department, such as upgrades to Fire Station No. 5 on West Branch Crossing Drive and the township’s emergency training center as well as a new fire company for the west side of The Woodlands.

Other items being considered for the 2023 budget are the addition of a 13th officer position to the contract with Harris County Precinct 4 for law enforcement, new amenities at Bear Branch Park and a trail along Kuykendahl. Road. The council also discussed improvements needed for parks identified in the 2022 Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment, for which an initial phase could potentially begin in 2023. Parks and Recreation needs include improvements to Alden Bridge Park and Alden Bridge Sports Park plus a new dog park.

The development of amenities that generate revenue for the township were also discussed, such as improvements to Texas TreeVentures. The council also discussed a proposal to develop a $1.5 million lazy river facility in Bear Branch Park.

Board Chairman Gordy Bunch also announced after the August 24 regular meeting that the Township Mounted Patrol Service would be fully funded in 2023 within the proposed budget, an item on which he said the residents had inquired.

Funding for one-time expenditures such as budget initiatives has been proposed using township reserve funds, which result from positive variances in sales tax and other revenues.

“In the space of six years, we have faced many natural disasters, a global pandemic, the highest inflation in 50 years, but the township is in a solid financial position due to the major decisions recommended and taken by staff and several councils over the years. Bunch said in a statement. “Our residents and businesses should see a much lower tax rate and resulting reduction in tax assessment from the Township of Woodlands.”

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