MYTH: Incorporation is necessary to protect The Woodlands from annexation by Houston or Conroe.
FACT: Annexation, which is often cited as the primary reason to become a city, is not a threat to the residents of The Woodlands. Forced annexation is illegal under state law, meaning The Woodlands cannot be annexed without the consent of our citizens at the ballot box, even after our Regional Participation Agreements with Houston and Conroe expire in 2057. There are two pieces of legislation that ensure this–Senate Bill 6 (passed in 2017) and House Bill 347 (passed in 2019.) Please see letter from House Representative Dan Huberty on Senate Bill 6 and House Bill 347 and its protection of The Woodlands. Click here to read.
MYTH: Incorporation is necessary to stop the Woodlands Parkway extension and to stop Woodlands Parkway from resembling FM1960.
FACT: In response to resident concerns, Howard Hughes worked together with the Montgomery County Commissioners Court to remove the potential extension from the County Major Thoroughfare Plan. The possibility of a future Woodlands Parkway extension is dead.
Regarding any concerns that Woodlands Parkway might someday resemble FM1960, forest preserves and setbacks have always been imposed on the land along this major thoroughfare, along with the creation of limited access points and shared easements. These will all continue on the remaining undeveloped land along and adjacent to Woodlands Parkway, preventing Woodlands Parkway from ever resembling FM1960.
MYTH: Incorporation is an urgent matter that must be decided right away.
FACT: There is no impending deadline or threat to our way of life that necessitates such drastic action.
MYTH: Incorporation will not increase taxes.
FACT: Our initial analysis of the study reveals forecasts that appear to grossly underestimate the cost of assuming responsibility for services currently provided by the county, such as road and bridge maintenance and law enforcement. If the vote for incorporation passes, these revenue gaps will have to be filled—by tax increases and new fees on residents and businesses.
MYTH: If The Woodlands were to incorporate, county taxes would go down.
FACT: County taxes would not be reduced. Commissioner James Noack has clearly stated that the idea that county taxes would go away is “absolutely not true.” A new city will be responsible for providing services currently provided by the County, such as road and bridge maintenance and law enforcement. Residents will pay a new tax to the city for these services while continuing to pay the current county tax rate. It will be like paying twice the taxes for the same services.
MYTH: The incorporation planning study prepared under the guidance of The Woodlands Township Board of Directors provides a clear blueprint for creating a new police department.
FACT: The law enforcement recommendations in the planning study appear to drastically understate the costs of labor, liability coverage, collective bargaining with a new police union, equipment, regulatory compliance and IT services. The enormously expensive proposition that we create a new police department from the ground up without the assurances that it would improve current services and response times makes no sense from a public safety or a financial standpoint.
MYTH: If The Woodlands incorporates, property taxes for those 65+ and the disabled will be permanently frozen.
FACT: The truth is that while the Township Board of Directors may hope a future city council will consider freezing taxes for seniors and those with disabilities, in order to freeze them, they will first have to RAISE them substantially. According to 25-year CPA and past-President of the Houston CPA Society, Bill Frazer, the Board of Directors has understated the cost of incorporation by $26.8 million. That means that if The Woodlands were to incorporate, property tax increases and new franchise fees would have to cover an enormous budget gap. ($6.6 million in new franchise fees have been forecast by the Township upon incorporation, the equivalent of a 3.2-cent property tax rate increase per $100 valuation.)
The bottom line is that even if a future city council were to eventually freeze taxes for those 65-plus and the disabled as a city, all residents of The Woodlands will have to pay more to incorporate.