Some of the drivers that create “growth” in our community are the same ones that will destroy our community when it is built-out. Much like feeding a grizzly bear, the economic development council’s appetite for new taxes has fostered unsustainable growth and dependency on more taxes from the next new development of homes and small businesses.
We are at the point of being “built-out” in Sugar Land and the voracious appetite for new taxes cannot be satisfied. Still, our city council continues to feed the EDC grizzly bear with TIRZs (Tax Investment Redevelopment Zones) for a flood of new apartments. Apartments with children that our schools are not funded to support.
The ironically parasitic mosquito/ baseball stadium is also beyond one’s “financially conservative” imagination. Some of our elected and past elected officials continue to mislead people about these infamous TIRZs. These self-funding, tax tools bring in projects that require many city services while they pay little to no property taxes. As a result, the growing tax burden continues to fall ever more heavily on homeowners and small businesses.
This increasingly heavy tax responsibility is multiplied by the cities demands that Home Owner Associations (HOAs) pay for lights, signage, and landscaping. Even when these projects are not a part of the associations. Clearly this is a city government/privatized government partnership that creates double taxation with no means to hold either accountable or rein either in.
Home owners, who are experienced about the ways of HOAs, understand that they work far less for homeowners than they do for their industry vendors. As privatized governments, they are also in a position to put down dissent with fines, private constables, and whispering campaigns that selectively target opposition. Those who understand this issue understand it clearly.Those who don’t, usually profit from the extortion and abuse.
Sugar Land is not exempt from the economic woes of the rest of the planet. People are hurting while our non-governmental economic development council elects their own to our legislature, city council, school board, and even positions within our privatized HOA governments. And yet, the real hurt involves Sugar Land as a whole.
We have evolved for fast growth by consuming taxes from developments yet to be built, and now, we are almost built-out.This dynamic demands something brand new – “sustainable management.” We have been dependent on new developments that pay new taxes, while our TIRZs and tax abated businesses continue to demand city services. Our shocking property tax rate, which must include MUD taxes, LID taxes, HOA dues, as well as basic property taxes, is no longer sustainable. People are moving and will move (sprawl) to the next city on the prairie. I hear Needville is starting to look like the new Sugar Land, while Sugar Land is poised to be the new Alief.
If there is any loyalty to real community, demanding change and Occupying Sugar Land should be the option, not moving. The resident distribution age in Sugar Land 2011, peaks at the late forties www.facebook.com/l/ZAQFW_O-J/www.city-data.com/housing/houses-Sugar-Land-Texas.html. This is an indicator that homeowner retirees will not be far away or possible for most people. With the economy as it is, we cannot expect a flood of young people to offset the rate that our city’s taxes and waste, and chase away our current residents.