THE WOODLANDS – Preserve The Woodlands today launched a non-partisan, fact-based education campaign to inform our community about the risks of a rushed vote to incorporate The Woodlands, so voters can make an informed decision.
“Incorporation represents a very expensive proposal to address a non-existent problem, and there is no turning back if we get this decision wrong,” said Morgan Bourque, local attorney and Preserve The Woodlands Advisory Board Member. “The Woodlands is already the best place in Texas to live, work, worship, and raise a family, and all that is in jeopardy due to a rushed and unnecessary attempt to permanently incorporate our community.”
Preserve The Woodlands is opposing the eleventh-hour decision to put the issue onto the ballot in November and believes there simply is no reason to change the foundation of the community, and every reason not to. A rushed approach limits the time voters can consider it.
When incorporation was initially floated, it was billed as a way to avoid being annexed, but The Woodlands is now protected by a state law that prohibits forced annexation. Claims that The Woodlands is at risk of being annexed by Houston or Conroe if it doesn’t incorporate as a city are false. The Woodlands cannot be annexed without a vote by the residents.
Then the community was told becoming a city was the only way to stop The Woodlands Parkway Extension, but at the request of Woodlands residents, county commissioners removed it from consideration.
Now, voters are being told that incorporation might allow the community to claim a larger share of federal funds.
As the reasons to incorporate keep changing, its impacts have remained consistent: higher taxes, increased fees, lower quality of life and bigger government.
The incorporation model calls for an additional $7 million in annual fees that residents and businesses will be forced to pay. This is on top of county taxes already paid by residents, which would not be eliminated. The model also calls for depleting existing savings and absorbing millions in new debt in order to pay for buildings (such as a $30 million police station), equipment and other services that already are provided under the current form of government.
Additionally, more government means less personal control over residents’ own lives and future.
There is no threat or deadline that justifies making this decision in November. The Woodlands residents deserve an opportunity to learn more about the impacts this major decision would have on their families and businesses.
More information is available at PreserveTheWoodlands.com.