Information on Issues

For more information on the city's positions on legislative topics, check out Sugar Land's Legislative Agenda for the 86th Session of the Texas Legislature.

State Preemption

You deserve a hometown that reflects your values.

The city supports the principles of local control to allow for locally elected officials to make decisions that are beneficial to the interests of city residents and the city as an organization.

Starting with Texas’ statehood in 1845, the legislature began creating cities to do its local work. Cities bear the primary responsibility for the provision of public services such as capital infrastructure and protecting citizens’ health and safety. We’re proud of our unique character which is shaped by the priorities and values of the people who live right here in Sugar Land.

Sugar Land’s Legislative Program aims to protect and enhance the city’s ability to:

1) provide quality services and programs that are important to residents, and

2) ensure the health, safety and welfare of the public by actively participating in the legislative process.

If it’s working, leave it alone.

Year after year Sugar Land has attracted quality employers to the city, bringing in well-paying jobs and a robust economy. The city is home to high-profile corporations including Minute Maid, UnitedHealthcare, Texas Instruments, Schlumberger, Fluor Corporation, Noble Drilling Services, and Bechtel EO to name a few.

The dramatic growth economic development in Sugar Land is indisputable proof that the decisions the city has made at the local level have produced the kind of community where people want to live, work, play, and do business.

With 97% of respondents believing that Sugar Land is a great place to live in the latest citizen satisfaction survey, we know that it is important to you that we work hard each day to provide you with important, quality services.

Our Home, Our Decisions

The most important decisions we must make as a community involves the level of services we want and how much we are willing to pay for them. The state legislature has the power to change the way that local municipalities provide services. Each year bills are filed by legislators on a variety of legislative topics such as how cities regulate trees and buildings, to municipal revenue and finance, to public safety, and even to how many chickens you can legally have in your home!

Decisions affecting local services should be made at the local level in order to reflect the values and priorities of Sugar Land residents and our unique character. The city will continue to oppose the preemption or erosion of our ability to pursue citizen priorities or respond to local citizen concerns.

Did you Know?

According to a recent citizen satisfaction survey, the following are the top reasons residents choose to live in Sugar Land:

Safety and security,
Types of housing,
Access to restaurants and entertainment,
Availability of parks and recreation opportunities, and
Quality of public schools.

Tax Relief

The city supports the reduction of the overall tax burden on residents and businesses. In fact, the cornerstone of Sugar Land’s financial management is minimizing the property tax burden on residents.  And we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk:

  • Sugar Land has lowered its property tax rate over 18 cents since 1993 and now boasts the second lowest tax rate in the State among cities our size.
  • Over the last 15 years, the average value home has increased by about 5% annually, while the average tax bill has only increased by about 3% annually over the same time period.
  • The City of Sugar Land makes up only 15% of the average residential tax bill.
  • According to a recent citizen satisfaction survey, over 93% of respondents were satisfied or neutral with the value received for their city taxes and fees.


Your Tax Dollars at Work

2019 Proposed Budget Infographic - Your Tax Dollars at Work

See an Overview of the FY19 Budget

Minimizing the Property Tax Burden

The most effective way to lower the property tax burden for all Texas homeowners is for the State to adequately fund and reform the public school finance system.

IGR_TaxChart_01

Average residential property tax distribution with LID and MUD (Telfair).

IGR_TaxChart_02

Average residential property tax distribution without LID and MUD.

In Sugar Land, public school taxes account for 40% to 65% of your total tax bill. Therefore, addressing the state’s constitutional obligation to adequately finance schools will have the largest impact on your total tax burden.

As opposed to generating revenue through a State property tax or income tax, the State relies on local school districts to fund a major portion of schools. However, that reliance on local dollars has been increasing for decades.  In Fort Bend ISD, the State’s share of school funding has decreased from 45% in 2007-2008 to 27% in 2018-2019. Meanwhile, the local share has increased from 55% to 73% in that same time period. (figures provided by FBISD).

The following chart provided by Fort Bend ISD further illustrates this reliance on local property tax increases to fund public schools.

IGR_FBISDTaxChart

Public Health

In preparation of the 2019 Texas Legislative Session, the city is working with legislators and partners to seek the introduction and passage of legislation aimed at increasing the rights of municipalities to access information from state agencies and obligating state agencies to provide information to municipalities on incidents that affect local public health where the State has sole regulatory jurisdiction over, especially when incidents may result in an immediate public health risk or compliance and regulatory issues.

Sugar Land is dedicated to ensuring the health and safety of the public by ensuring that the city and its residents have access to information about public health issues regulated by state agencies.