As municipalities within Fort Bend County absorb economic stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic, several cities are giving residents an opportunity to make their voices heard on their respective property tax proposals in the coming weeks.
The Fort Bend County Commissioners recently voted to approve property tax relief measures. The county’s tax assessor-collector, Carrie Surratt, has hosted on the county’s website a database with tax information that features a drop-down menu to show each taxable entity and its adopted tax rate.
Stafford has no residential or commercial property tax.
Missouri City is asking its residents to approve a 4.2 percent decrease (from $0.630000 per $100 valuation to $0.603024).
Sugar Land’s city council voted 7-0 in favor of a 1.35 percent increase (from $0.33200 to $0.33650), which translates to about $27 in additional taxes per homestead. The city is set to hold a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 8 at City Hall, and the referendum on the new rate is set for Sept. 15.
Last November, Sugar Land voters approved a $90.76 million general obligation bond to address various projects, including flood mitigation, public safety and emergency managements, investments in the city’s street network, and the design and construction of a new animal shelter.
The city has had to account for a $3 million revenue shortfall that resulted from the economic conditions that followed the spread of the coronavirus pandemic to the U.S. Jennifer Brown, Sugar Land’s director of finance, added that the city was able to shift the tax rate around with the assistance of the bond to cover its maintenance and operations budget and make up for some of the lost sales tax.
“We were able to make reductions to this year’s budget to offset the estimated impacts,” Brown said. “We’re at least fortunate that so far, we’ve performed better than projections as far as sales tax goes, but we still have another month of collections to go in this fiscal year, so we don’t want to let up on too much.”
Richmond’s city commission voted unanimously in favor of a 1.73 percent decrease (from $0.687772 to $0.699900) in total tax rate per $100 in property value for its residents. A hearing is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Sept. 8 at 600 Morton St.
Rosenberg’s voter-approval tax rate is a 3.61 percent decrease (from $0.415000 to $.400000) from the previous year.
The city will hold a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1 at Rosenberg’s City Council chambers to vote on the proposal.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the tax rate increase for the City of Sugar Land in the story and accompanying graphic above.