By Beth O’Brien, reporting for Bluebonnet News of Montgomery County
At a special meeting held Wednesday night, The Woodlands Township board unanimously approved an effective tax rate of $0.2240 per $100 of assessed property value for the upcoming fiscal year. The vote finally passed on a fifth attempt after four motions failed.
Wednesday’s special board meeting was called following a Sept. 12 meeting during which the Board attempted to pass the tax rate but was at odds. After three motion attempts, they could not reach a consensus and left the issue unsettled.
The new tax rate is slightly lower than the current tax rate of $0.2273 per $100 of assessed property value.
“The effective tax rate was the only rate we could get passed after substantial debate, and I think for me, it has to do with if we didn’t adopt a rate, our residents were going to get two bills, and I think that’s completely asinine to do to our community,” said Board Chairman Gordy Bunch.
Bunch added that not adopting a tax rate would have put the residents in a position to where their mortgage company would have had to pay two separate tax bills. For the residents in The Woodlands who pay their own tax bills, it would be very confusing.
“Eventually the effective rate was passed in order to keep our residents on one consolidated bill,” said Bunch.
Board member Bruce Rieser said the Board’s option was to pass the effective tax rate or schedule another meeting and then pass it.
“Frankly, what happened tonight is three board members actually held the majority of the board hostage for something that really was, in my view, taking on a risk this Township doesn’t need,” said Rieser. “At some point, the last thing you do is throw all the toys out of the crib. You have to be an adult about it and you have to just get on with it.”