If you agree with the following, you should vote no on TCID Propositions 1, 2, and 3: A legitimate government requires the consent of the governed.

Taxes should not be imposed by un-elected entities. An informed electorate is a good thing. Props 1 and 2 fail the "consent of the governed"" test. Residents overwhelming indicated at heavily attended public forums their belief that the governing structure that best fits their needs is a municipality, not another special district. Props 1 and 2, if passed, would make this entire community a tax-sucking special district, whose board may or may not allow the community to vote on incorporation as a city.

The earliest that this could occur is seven years hence, if then. Further, if Prop 2 passes, the board will not be entirely comprised of community-wide elected directors until 2010, some 2-1/2 years after it is given authority over the entire community. In the interim, we'll be governed by a board that is not even majority resident elected.

The scare tactics that claim that Houston and Conroe will annex The Woodlands Tx if Props 1 and 2 fail are just that. Houston still cannot annex The Woodlands until 2014, and there is over a year left in the Conroe annexation plan for Harper's Landing. We can and should do better in crafting agreements that do not require us to become (and effectively remain) a special district. Prop 3, if passed along with Props 1 and 2, would permit the TCID Board to impose an ad valorem tax on the entire expanded community.

This can happen before the TCID Board is an entirely community-wide elected board. For at least 2-1/2 years, the allocation of money raised by that tax would be determined by a board controlled by persons not elected by us (""us"" being the entire community versus 100 or so folks who live along the Waterway). Even the purported savings derived from deducting ad valorem taxes (as opposed to non-deductible association assessments) aren't there when you factor in the increased sales tax rate and the collection of sales taxes on certain services, which are currently not taxed outside of the existing TCID boundaries (cable, telephone service, utilities).

In fact, there actually may be a slight increase in the total ""tax"" burden of the average Woodlands homeowner. This analysis doesn't even touch the other economic consideration that I'd be vexing over if I were a homeowner in areas covered by The Woodlands Association covenants, which effectively reduce the assessment rate on homes valued at or above a certain level (currently $560,000). This reduction in the effective rate is not available under the proposed TCID uniform ad valorem tax authority. An informed electorate. All three propositions are premised upon the execution of a Regional Participation Agreement between Houston and TCID, which, as of this writing, still hasn't been approved by Houston or made available to the public. Last I heard, Houston might consider the matter Thursday or Oct. 31.

Early voting starts Monday. The price of freedom is vigilance, but our vigilance is stymied if the agreement upon which this whole initiative is based isn't available for us to read, study and question in ample time before we vote.

Many details and nuances affect these initiatives. So, I urge you to do a little cyber research via . As you peel away the onion, you will realize, as I have, that, as a resident, No on 1-2-3 is the only sane option. Cheryl Crandall Tangen has served, as an at-large director, on the WCA Board of Directors since 2002. She has served on numerous committees and in several leadership roles, including WCA president and vice president, chair of The Woodlands Community Service Corporation and president of The Woodlands Fire Department. She also is involved with the South Montgomery County Woodlands Chamber of Commerce, having chaired its Legislative Involvement Committee and the Whistle Stop Tour pre-primary candidates' forum. She has practiced law for 26 years. Tangen and her husband Terry have lived in The Woodlands, Village of Panther Creek, since 1990.

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