|From 2001 to 2006, the Board created several economic development zones to fund improvement projects through the imposition an incremental sales tax. Funding is provided by an additional 1% sales tax collected within each designated zone. These projects included: the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion expansion, Town Green Park, public enhancements at Market Street, Waterway Square, public enhancements at The Woodlands Mall expansion, Fire Station #6, and The Woodlands Emergency Training Center. The fire station and training center project was refinanced in 2010 in conjunction with the governance transition from the Community Associations of The Woodlands, and the refinanced debt was assumed by the Township rather than the Zone. Project costs related to the Pavilion expansion were met in full in the third quarter of 2011.
Following a public hearing held on November 16, 2007, the existing economic development zones were reorganized as The Woodlands Township Economic Development Zone and the Zone’s boundaries were expanded to coincide with the boundaries of The Woodlands Township. In accordance with legislation, collection of the incremental sales and use tax is used exclusively to satisfy funding obligations for established improvement projects approved by the Board and for annual operating expenditures incurred for public safety.
What is an Economic Development Zone?
The Economic Development Zone is a political subdivision of the State, separate from The Woodlands Township with a separate governing body appointed by The Woodlands Township. The Zone possesses the same power and authority as the Township to assess a tax, either ad valorem or a sales and use tax, and use such tax to promote the initial development or substantial redevelopment of an area if the Board finds that the creation of the Zone furthers the public purpose of:
(1) the development and diversification of the economy of the Township and the State;
(2) the elimination of unemployment or underemployment in the Township and the State;
(3) the development or expansion of transportation or commerce in the Township and the State; or,
(4) the promotion and stimulation of business, commercial, and economic activity in the Township and the State.
Incremental Sales Tax Collections
The adopted 2016 budget includes incremental sales tax collections generated by the Zone totaling $26.6 million. These collections have been committed for specific projects to the extent of actual collections.
Appointments to the Economic Development Zone Board of Directors
Pursuant to Resolution No. 014-07, which created The Woodlands Township Economic Development Zone, the Board of Directors of Township is authorized to serve, ex officio, as the governing body of the zone. Each member of the governing body shall qualify for office by subscribing to the constitutional oath for public officers and by furnishing a fidelity bond to secure faithful performance of such member’s duties. At the earliest practicable time following qualification of the members of the zone, the governing body will meet and organize by electing a president, vice president, secretary-treasurer and other officers the governing body may deem appropriate. Directors are appointed to two year terms on the Economic Development Zone to coincide with the term of office on the Township Board.
The meeting of the Economic Development Zone Board of Directors will be held immediately following the Township Board of Directors meeting on November 18, 2015. Historically, the officers of the Township Board have also been elected to serve as the officers of the Economic Development Zone.