Sugar Land City Hall

Rumor versus Fact

Rumor versus Fact: Keep up to date on the latest information that aims to dispel inaccurate information about recent City initiatives and community concerns.

Aug 18

Rumor: The city is opposed to the state’s attempt to create property tax relief for local residents.

Posted on August 18, 2017 at 5:03 p.m. by Web Admin

Fact: Proposals considered in the Texas Legislature would not have provided property tax relief. Revenue caps that were considered in the Texas Legislature would not provide meaningful tax relief, but would have restricted the City’s ability to meet local needs such as public safety funding (which accounts for nearly 50 percent of the city’s general fund), and divert attention from the real cause of higher property taxes -- the state's failure to adequately fund public education. In Sugar Land, school district taxes can account for up to 65 percent of the tax bill while city taxes account for only about 15 percent. In fact, in 2016, had the City relied on the legislature to provide “tax relief” through a 4 percent revenue cap rather than the City Council approved 2 percent increase to the homestead exemption, Sugar Land residents would have ended up paying $12 MORE on their tax bill – even more if the revenue cap was increased to 6 percent.
Read more at http://www.sugarlandtx.gov/FAQ.aspx?TID=73.
Aug 17

Rumor: The city is spending $10 million on a bridge over Oyster Creek.

Posted on August 17, 2017 at 10:21 a.m. by Web Admin

Fact: A bridge over Oyster Creek is included in the University Boulevard/South Stadium Drive project, a collaborative project involving Fort Bend County, the Imperial Redevelopment District and the city of Sugar Land. Part of the project includes a $10.65 million extension and bridge over a railroad spur and Oyster Creek. The City’s portion of the entire project is only $3.8 million, with the remainder of funding coming from the Imperial Redevelopment District and Fort Bend County. When complete, University Boulevard and South Stadium Drive will accomplish the long-planned “Burney Road Bypass” project, an important north-south corridor that provides for the mobility of residents north of U.S. 90A while alleviating traffic in residential areas along Main Street and Burney Road.
Aug 17

Rumor: The city spent $760,000 on a crosswalk.

Posted on August 17, 2017 at 10:19 a.m. by Web Admin

Fact: The total cost for construction of the pedestrian crossing in Sugar Land Town Square was approximately $385,000 – plus an additional $43,000 in landscaping to discourage pedestrians from unsafely crossing the road. The crosswalk addressed safety concerns related to an area with high pedestrian/vehicle conflicts due to the commercial areas on both sides of Town Center Boulevard and a growing desire for walkability. The goal is to provide safe crossings for all pedestrians so not to have pedestrian/vehicle accidents similar to the one that occurred in 2016. The crossing was part of a larger Town Center Pedestrian-Bike Project that included expansion and widening of sidewalks. Learn at www.SugarLandTX.gov/Crosswalk.
Aug 17

Rumor: The city spent public money to improve a golf course.

Posted on August 17, 2017 at 10:16 a.m. by Web Admin

Fact: The city did not construct golf course improvements. Drainage improvements were targeted in the Sugar Creek subdivision to solve a decades-old problem to prevent street flooding during moderate rain storms. The work was identified as part of a comprehensive drainage study of the Sugar Creek Watershed completed in 2005. The decision to partner with the River Bend and Sugar Creek golf course for drainage improvements saved taxpayers millions of dollars and directly improves the quality of life and safety of residents. Updates on the project and presentation slides from a homeowner association meeting can be found at www.SugarLandTX.gov/SugarCreekDrainageProject.
Aug 17

Rumor:Tax increase/service cuts avoidable if taxes not used on nonessentials like TSTC & public art.

Posted on August 17, 2017 at 8:18 a.m. by Web Admin

Fact: The Texas State Technical College and public art projects are funded with a restricted portion of sales and hotel occupancy taxes that may only be used for economic development and tourism purposes. Per State law, the funding used for these projects cannot be utilized for general fund services funded by property tax.
Aug 16

Rumor:Voters approved two of three projects in 2013;City says voters ok'd tax increase for three.

Posted on August 16, 2017 at 4:19 p.m. by Web Admin

Fact: This is not true. The three projects included in the 2013 bond election would have required a 5 cent increase on the tax rate. Voters approved bonds totaling $31.5 million and authorized only 3.1 cents of the proposed 5 cent tax increase to fund two of the three parks projects. To date, the city has only increased the tax rate .7 cents. The remaining voter-authorized tax increase has not yet been implemented.
Jun 21

Rumor: Short-term rentals are prohibited because they do not generate HOT taxes like a hotel would.

Posted on June 21, 2017 at 1:35 p.m. by Web Admin

Fact: There is a misconception that Sugar Land prohibits STRs for the purpose of collecting more revenue when in fact, any owner that is operating a lodging business – including a short term rental – anywhere in the state of Texas is required to collect state hotel occupancy taxes that must be submitted to the State Comptroller. Additionally, if STRs were allowed in Sugar Land (they are not), they would also be subject to the city’s hotel occupancy tax.

The purpose of the city’s regulations is to preserve neighborhood integrity. Authorizing this type of commercial operation to exist within residential districts disrupts the nature of that residential district. Several of the concerns expressed by Sugar Land residents living near a short term rental (STR) have been:
  • Increased traffic associated with the STR
  • Nuisance complaints regarding parties/noise, trash and parking issues
  • Concerns regarding strangers coming in and out of the neighborhoods on a frequent basis
Jun 21

Rumor: Sugar Land allows short-term rentals to operate within the city limits.

Posted on June 21, 2017 at 9:19 a.m. by Web Admin

Fact: While short-term rentals (STRs) have become quite popular across the country, the use of a residential property as an STR advertised via websites such as Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO, etc. violates the city of Sugar Land zoning regulations. STRs are classified under SIC Code #7021 Rooming and Boarding and are prohibited within residential zoning districts. The information can be found in the Sugar Land Development Code Land Use Sec. 2-71 at http://www.sugarlandtx.gov/documentcenter/view/9544.
Jun 05

Rumor: The Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land has building violations

Posted on June 5, 2017 at 2:08 p.m. by Web Admin

Fact: The Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land was designed and constructed in accordance with all appropriate codes and the proper inspection procedures were followed as outlined by the city and state. Additionally, the building also went through a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation inspection, which – as is common in large scale building construction projects – did identify 33 violations, all of which were related to accessibility and did not impact life-safety measures. Though the city has up to one year to rectify the violations in accordance with state code, these were remedied by March 31, 2017, and the building currently has no violations. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation holds the Smart Financial Centre’s inspection status as approved. 
Jun 05

Rumor: The city of Sugar Land can control the railroads and rights of ways at the crossings

Posted on June 5, 2017 at 2:07 p.m. by Web Admin

Fact: UPRR owns the rights to the railroad and all of the rights of way at the crossings. The city cannot have any work performed within 25 feet of the rail track without proper permits from UPRR. However, the city works with UPRR to address the concerns of Sugar Land residents during their projects.