One tiny paragraph tucked inside a state and local tax reduction bill recently signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott included language that will save thousands of dollars for Economic Development Corporations across the Rio Grande Valley.
For the Edinburg EDC, it would have meant a savings of about $330,000 based on 2013 appraised property values and more than $440,000 from 2012 values — totaling about 6 percent of its revenue budget, said Gus Garcia, executive director of the corporation.
An amendment to the bill was submitted by state Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, after his stand-alone bill, House Bill 2305, died before a vote on the House floor. The bill that passed — HB 1905 — was authored by state Rep. Drew Springer, R-Gainsville, and aimed to eliminate a 5-cent fee on alcoholic beverages sold on airplanes and trains in Texas.
Springer’s bill is slated to take effect Sept. 1, but the section in reference to the economic development corporations won’t take effect until this January.
The bill’s language includes development corporations as “nonprofit community business organizations,” or Type A and Type B corporations under local government code, which are funded through a portion of sales tax allocations. The changes only impact ad valorem taxes, or property taxes, after Jan. 1.
Many of the properties owned by the local EDCs are within industrial parks slated for manufacturers and large developments.
In Edinburg, for example, there’s land near the intersection of Closner Boulevard and West Trenton Road worth $1.9 million. Without the property tax exemption, the EDC would pay about…
Read more at The McAllen Monitor.