Konner Earnest, Guest Editorialist to The Golden Hammer
There’s a lot of talk how The Woodlands needs to incorporate or not incorporate.
People on the pro-incorporation side list off that the property tax rate will stay the same, the possibility of being annexed by a larger city, local control of roads, business and residential developments (extraterritorial jurisdictions), and law enforcement, more access to federal and state funding, and more control of its domestic affairs through city ordinances.
They’re not really pro-incorporation. They want a bigger government to serve their needs, not the citizens’.
If we go down the list of their grievances with being a special purpose district, they make arguments which are proven falsehoods yet still pushed because many in the Woodlands Township government believe the citizens will not do their homework before voting in the November 2 referendum.
The tax rate will not stay the same when the fire department, police department, municipal courts, and an animal pound that includes the cost of an incinerator, depending on which shiny new one they want could cost the taxpayers between $20,000 and $40,000, will be new items within the City’s budget that previously were not there as a Township. The 22 cents per $100 valuation property tax rate will no longer be anywhere in sight.
The constructing and maintenance of roads will also cost the taxpayers a fine dime.
Telling private land developers what to do with their property is as anti-constitutional as one can get. I remember the phrase “Life, liberty, and property…” being enshrined in a divine document somewhere in America’s history, but maybe The Woodlands government officials don’t.
Being annexed by a larger city like Houston or Conroe is not just realistic anytime soon, because we have an ongoing agreement with these cities not to be annexed until 2057, but also because of the fact that it is now law that a city cannot annex a special purpose district such as The Woodlands, unless the citizens of that area vote to be annexed. Please see House Bill 347 passed during the 86th session of the Texas Legislature and signed into law right after that.
In regards to the Township wanting more funding and not getting it through the CARES Act, remind me what they needed that for in the first place? Is it because they forced business closures on the businesses they had power over at Market Street or required masks in place all the way until the CDC said it was okay to take them off? They wouldn’t include this in their reasons to incorporate, unless they truly wanted more government, because that’s all funding does, i.e., widen politicians’ influence and make the scope of government bigger than it was meant to be. They want these funds as bad as they do, knowing the requirements that come with them too.
Recent calls for transparency within American Rescue Plan stimulus funds revealed just what requirements can be attached to this funding. There are strings. Strings that push the Overton Window further to the left, but are enforced by local governments instead of coming out of the mouths of left-wing radicals themselves. Requirements include obeisance to critical race theory, diversity requirements, so-called “equity,” and inclusion training, environmental alarmism, and state sponsored propaganda, among those strings attached to those federal dollars.
As the Woodlands Township, they already are sponsoring propaganda with taxpayer monies that pushes their narrative of falsehoods to scare the citizens into their trap. If you look closely below, The Woodlands Township is openly telling you that they don’t want you to have fun on the Fourth of July or New Years Eve in the form of fireworks, unless the government itself shoots those fireworks off, they don’t want you to have your property rights when it comes to landscaping your property and how many trees you cut down or plant, and they don’t want you to pump your own groundwater because of scare tactics related to subsidence caused by Harris County. So they can’t do what they want as a Township, but they’ll do what they want as a City by passing ordinance after ordinance, which will also raise more “revenues” in the form of fines and fees which they’ll collect from Woodlands residents.
This issue is all about big government, because that’s what incorporation will bring to our community, which is already the #1 best in the United States.