Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

36 of 100
36. Stafford, Texas
Population: 25,607
Pros: Minimal taxes, cheap housing and ample available land
Con: Business community still small

Stafford is a small community that offers Texas-sized savings: The town has no city property tax and the lowest sales tax in the Houston area.

"If you have any type of business with substantial inventory or taxable assets, starting up in Stafford is extremely favorable," says Jeff Wiley, president of the Greater Fort Bend County Economic Development Council.

In addition to the traditional Texas oil and gas sector, there's also a growing medical community in the city. Wiley says that Stafford is bursting with office parks and undeveloped land, but adds that there's a balance between commercial and residential areas.

Some flock to Stafford for its density of churches - 51 in seven square miles - but the city drew attention a few years ago for its attempts to quell their proliferation. Stafford is located near the many museums and shopping centers in Houston, but also boasts its own upscale shopping center, called the Fountains on the Lake. -Mina Kimes

Interactive map: Stafford, Texas
Homes for sale Find homes for sale in Stafford, Texas

NEXT: 37. Radnor Township, Pa.

Last updated July 02 2008: 11:16 AM ET
More Galleries
5 startups that are reimagining the world Bricks that grow from microorganisms, household garbage turned into art, three-wheeled bike-cars -- these startups are redefining urban living. More
Blue collar entrepreneurs These five entrepreneurs took their blue collar experience and used it to launch innovative businesses. More
7 lifehacks to eliminate your holiday hassle Whether curating the perfect gift or finding a pet-sitter, these startups offer time-saving services that might just seem like holiday magic. More

Special Offer