After four days of budget talks, The Woodlands Township board of directors Aug. 15 voted 6-1 to approve a proposed $0.23 tax rate for fiscal year 2019-20.
The rate represents a slight increase from the current tax rate of $0.2273 per $100 valuation. During board discussions, members said an increase in costs for several township services is a large part of the need for additional revenue. The township’s new solid waste management contract and need to take over street maintenance services currently provided by The Woodlands Development Corp. add $2.7 million in additional expenses in 2020.
Additionally, the township scaled back sales tax revenue projections to assume no significant growth in the next fiscal year, Sharp said. New projections also take into account fewer gains than expected from home revaluations.
The proposed tax rate includes a plan to refinance bonds to lower the township’s debt service tax rate from the projected amount of $.0167 to $0.154 per $100 valuation. The maintenance and operations portion of the tax rate would increase from $0.2103 to $0.2146 per $100 valuation, for a total of $0.23. The average property tax bill for an owner of a house valued at the township average, $438,961, would be $1,009, said Monique Sharp, assistant general manager for finance and administration. If the tax rate were to remain at $0.2273, the average tax bill would be $998. This year’s average tax bill was $983, according to information prepared for the meeting.
Public hearings on the tax rate will be held at 5 p.m. Aug. 28 and 6 p.m. Sept. 4 at The Woodlands Township, 2801 Technology Forest Blvd., The Woodlands. The budget and tax rate will be adopted at a special meeting 6 p.m. Sept. 12.