Incorporation Facts

PUBLIC EDUCATION SUMMARY

The following Public Education Summary is provided for your information. The Public Education Summary compares key topics arranged in categories and how they would be affected if the community remains as The Woodlands Township, OR if it becomes the City of The Woodlands. Topics include law enforcement, drainage and flood mitigation, path to local control, government authority, utilities, transportation/roads, building standards, community planning and financial implications. Please take time to read this information on how incorporating into the City of The Woodlands could affect you.

What is The Woodlands Township?

The Woodlands Township is a “Special Purpose” government district, authorized by state statute. The Township is unincorporated and its boundaries are within both Montgomery County and Harris County, the Extraterritorial Jurisdictions of the City of Houston and the City of Conroe, and primarily within the municipal utility boundaries of 11 Woodlands Municipal Utility Districts (MUDs).

Though the Township governance and administrative model has allowed it to offer municipal types of services, core service areas such as law enforcement and transportation infrastructure maintenance are delivered by county agencies. Water, wastewater, and stormwater management services are provided by multiple Municipal Utility Districts throughout

The Woodlands. While the Township has entered into contracted arrangements with the county agencies to provide enhanced law enforcement services, the Township’s authority to direct those services is limited.

In 2018, The Township Board of Directors initiated a study to consider the benefits and impacts of municipal incorporation. This draft study has been completed and the Township Board of Directors is considering placing incorporation on a future general election ballot for consideration by the voters of The Woodlands.

The following summary has been developed to show changes in governmental responsibility and services that would occur with municipal incorporation of The Woodlands.

PUBLIC EDUCATION SUMMARY

The following Public Education Summary is provided for your information. The Public Education Summary compares key topics arranged in categories and how they would be affected if the community remains as The Woodlands Township, OR if it becomes the City of The Woodlands. Topics include law enforcement, drainage and flood mitigation, path to local control, government authority, utilities, transportation/roads, building standards, community planning and financial implications. Please take time to read this information on how incorporating into the City of The Woodlands could affect you.

What is The Woodlands Township?

The Woodlands Township is a “Special Purpose” government district, authorized by state statute. The Township is unincorporated and its boundaries are within both Montgomery County and Harris County, the Extraterritorial Jurisdictions of the City of Houston and the City of Conroe, and primarily within the municipal utility boundaries of 11 Woodlands Municipal Utility Districts (MUDs).

Though the Township governance and administrative model has allowed it to offer municipal types of services, core service areas such as law enforcement and transportation infrastructure maintenance are delivered by county agencies. Water, wastewater, and stormwater management services are provided by multiple Municipal Utility Districts throughout

The Woodlands. While the Township has entered into contracted arrangements with the county agencies to provide enhanced law enforcement services, the Township’s authority to direct those services is limited.

In 2018, The Township Board of Directors initiated a study to consider the benefits and impacts of municipal incorporation. This draft study has been completed and the Township Board of Directors is considering placing incorporation on a future general election ballot for consideration by the voters of The Woodlands.

The following summary has been developed to show changes in governmental responsibility and services that would occur with municipal incorporation of The Woodlands.

  • Enforcement of Community Standards

    The Woodlands Township

    The Township does not have the authority to enact and enforce ordinances to reflect community standards for issues such as clear cutting, animal control, fireworks, noise violations, street parking, speed limits, tree preservation, right of way management, etc.

    City of The Woodlands

    The city would have ordinance making authority as authorized for General Law Cities and would have a municipal court for enforcement of local ordinance violations.

  • Land Use Planning and Plat Approval

    The Woodlands Township

    The Township does not have authority over land use planning and plat approval for property within The Woodlands. The land area within The Woodlands lies within Montgomery County, Harris County and the Exterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) of the cities of Houston and Conroe. These counties and cities have the authority for planning and plat approval.

    City of The Woodlands

    The city would have authority over land use planning and plat approval in The Woodlands.

  • Community Master Planning

    The Woodlands Township

    With the exception of the Township’s public transit services, the Township does not have authority over transportation planning, roadways, water and sewer utilities and drainage. Long-range planning for these services in The Woodlands is the responsibility of various governments and MUDs with boundaries or ETJs that that overlap The Woodlands.

    City of The Woodlands

    The city would have direct authority to master plan for mobility and transportation, and the ability to assume authority for utilities and drainage (if abolishing the MUDs).

  • Property Tax Freeze for Seniors and Disabled Individuals

    The Woodlands Township

    The Township is not authorized by state statute to enact a property tax freeze for individuals who are disabled or over the age of 65.

    City of The Woodlands

    The City Council has the statutory authority to enact a tax freeze for individuals who are disabled or over 65 years of age. The estimated annual cost of enacting this provision is included in the computation of the incorporation maximum initial tax rate.

  • Municipal Court

    The Woodlands Township

    The Township does not have statutory authority to create a municipal court to adjudicate local violations. County JP courts handle all traffic violations and miscellaneous county violations and the counties collect revenues from fines and fees.

    City of The Woodlands

    A city municipal court would adjudicate Woodlands local ordinance violations including traffic citations, and retain and collect fines and fees.

  • Access to Federal and State Funding

    The Woodlands Township

    Although the Township has received limited state and federal grant assistance in past years, the majority of state and federal grant programs for local government needs are directed to municipalities. An example is the recent federal funding for pandemic relief in the 2020 CARES Act and the 2021 American Rescue Plan, which was directed to municipalities, counties and state governments.

    City of The Woodlands

    The city would be eligible to participate in all federal and state funding programs extended to municipalities.

  • Incorporation / Additional Revenue Sources

    The Woodlands Township

    Township revenues sources include ad valorem property tax, sales tax, hotel occupancy (HOT) tax, cultural arts admissions tax, and user fees. In addition, the Township receives Federal grants for transit service.

    City of The Woodlands

    Township revenues sources are expected to continue at existing levels. The city would have additional revenue sources such as the alcohol beverage tax, franchise fees, municipal court fees and fines, events admissions tax funding and potentially additional state and federal grant funding (examples: roadway grants, coronavirus/ pandemic relief funds, Community Development Block Grant funding.

  • Incorporation/Additional Costs to Residents

    The Woodlands Township

    The current Township property tax rate is 22.31 cents per $100 of value.

    City of The Woodlands

    Based on an Incorporation Study and current conditions, the maximum initial tax rate for Incorporation as the City of The Woodlands was established at 22.31 cents per $100 valuation, which is what taxpayers are paying today for The Woodlands Township.

    To view the comprehensive presentation given on the maximum initial tax rate at the August 13, 2021 Board of Directors meeting, visit https://woodlandstx.new.swagit.com/videos/130462?ts=2931.

    By law, whether as a Township or a city, once a property tax rate is adopted, any property tax rate in subsequent years that would exceed 3.5% of the previous year’s maintenance and operations rate would require voter approval.

Page last updated: 07 September 2021, 11:57