Mayor highlights growth in the city of Rosenberg
It was a packed house at Safari Texas on Thursday afternoon as community leaders and residents turned out to learn about the state of the city of Rosenberg.
Rosenberg Mayor William (Bill) Benton his address began by honoring and recognizing city employees and dignitaries, including Fort Bend County Judge KP George and Precinct 1 Commissioner Vincent Morales Jr.
Ongoing construction in and around Rosenberg is often an issue for area residents, which Benton approached with a bit of humor.
“I saw some of the construction guys on the side of the freeway and I stopped and asked them when this construction and they said 2050,” Benton said. “That’s not true.”
According to Benton, since the year 2000, Rosenberg has grown from a city of about 24,000 to one of about 40,000 today. From 2008 to 2018, “the net taxable value has increased about 200 percent.”
He said the taxable value has increased “from about a billion to $3 billion. We need to applaud that.”
With the increase in taxable value, the cost for services gets spread out across a wider swath of residents.
“That figure has given us the opportunity to cost share,” Benton said. “We have more people paying less taxes than less people paying more taxes.”
Benton lauded new commercial developments in the area, including a new Aldi distribution center. Since 2013, the mayor said 4,000 new homes have been built in the city. He added that home values have increased from $114,000 to $180,000.
In 2018, “the city for the first time eclipsed S20 million in sales tax,” Benton said. “That’s a big deal when it comes time to fund things. We have to have the resources to do it. We’re always looking for ways to reduce property taxes.”
The expansion of the property tax base has resulted in the city reducing its tax rate in recent years. In 2017, the tax rate stood at 46.2 cents per $100 valuation. Today, the rate is 43 cents per $100 valuation which represents nearly a 7 percent drop in the property tax rate for area residents. The tax rate was 47 cents per $100 valuation in 2016.
It was the “largest single year tax reduction in 30 years in Rosenberg,” Benton said of the most recent decrease. “I can assure you that was not easy to achieve. We’ve done all this while maintaining or increasing all city municipal services.”
Benton went on to laud the work done on road expansions — including Bryan and Spacek roads, and Bamore Road at I-69 — and the Public Works Department’s work on reconstruction, repaving, striping and work on alleys around the city.
“Because the rain has wreaked havoc on our alleys, we are behind,” Benton said. “As soon as we get the opportunity we’re going to get in and repair those alleys.”
The mayor also spoke of the Brazos water project, which includes 38 miles of pipe to bring water from Angleton to Rosenberg.
“We’ve had to spend a lot for water,” Benton said.
Other highlights of Benton’s presentation included in the last year that the:
Police Department added Police Chief Johnathan White. Benton added that violent crime fell 4 percent over the last year. “So we’re a little bit safer.”
Fire Department got a new fire engine, six new personnel and obtained a new rescue boat.
Finance Department has earned transparency stars and honored for excellence for financial reporting for the 32nd consecutive year.
Planning and Code Enforcement has approved 2,000 new lots in the city and ETJ. “We had to reinstate the dangerous building abatement program.”
“Rosenberg is growing and the growth is good as long as it is managed properly,” Benton said. “I believe that should be the goal of every city.”
For more information on the city of Rosenberg, go to https://rosenbergtx.gov.