Fort Bend

Stafford has not had a property tax in nearly 30 years. That could soon change.

Stafford is mostly funded by sales taxes. Officials say they cannot keep up the cost of running the city without implementing a property tax.

 

Stafford City Hall
City of Stafford website
Stafford City Hall

For nearly 30 years, the city of Stafford has operated without a property tax, since abolishing it in 1995.

That could soon change, however, as the city council is holding a special meeting this week to discuss bringing back the property tax.

Locals still pay other property taxes to the county, the community college and the school district, but the city itself does not impose a property tax. Instead, Stafford is mostly funded by sales taxes.

At the time the Stafford property tax was eliminated, it drew attention nationwide, including from the Wall Street Journal, which reported on the change.

In February of 2022, then-mayor Cecil Willis dismissed rumors that the city was considering reinstating a property tax, the Fort Bend Independent reported.

But Stafford city council member Virginia Rosas told Houston Public Media that between inflation and the city's growth, operation costs have increased, and the council is now considering bringing back the property tax.

"We're at the point that we cannot keep up with the cost of running the city without implementing a tax," she said.

Voters would have to approve a city property tax before one could be implemented. Stafford residents could see the measure on the ballot in November of 2024.

Rosas said the city council is trying to be as transparent as possible and welcomes public feedback.

"We're going to do everything we can as a city council to minimize the effect that it's going to have on our residents because we do have an aging community that are on fixed incomes," she said.

The special meeting is open to the public and will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at city hall.