TIRZ vote set for downtown; City aims to jump start development - Brownsville Herald: Local News

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

TIRZ vote set for downtown; City aims to jump start development

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 8:00 am

The Brownsville City Commission is scheduled to hold a hearing and a vote on setting up a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) aimed at supercharging redevelopment of downtown, partly by addressing the numerous substandard and deteriorating structures, poor layout of sidewalks and streets, and other issues.

The hearing and first reading of Ordinance No. 2019-1663 creating the Downtown TIRZ No. 3 will take place during the commission’s regular meeting today at City Hall, 1001 E. Elizabeth St. The meeting starts at 5 p.m. The ordinance would designate TIRZ boundaries, create a board of directors to administer the zone and establish a tax-increment fund among other related provisions.

According to the preliminary project and financing draft plan, TIRZ No. 3 will “provide support for catalytic infrastructure and economic development projects that will facilitate redevelopment of properties within Downtown Brownsville.” The 2009 Imagine Brownsville Comprehensive Plan outlines the “vision and justification for transforming the downtown area,” according to the draft plan.

Officials see the TIRZ as a framework for generating the resources needed to “deliver municipal services to transform (downtown) as a destination for arts, culture and nightlife.”

A TIRZ is an option for local governments in Texas to publicly finance improvements to public infrastructure, through a tool known as Tax Increment Financing, to enhance the viability of existing businesses within the TIRZ and also attract new commercial investment to the zone. The proposed TIRZ No. 3, which would last 30 years, covers roughly 440 acres downtown, including roads and right-of-way.

The cost of infrastructure improvements is reimbursed through future property tax revenues from the taxing entities, including the City of Brownsville and Cameron County. “Tax increment” is the term for the additional tax revenue resulting from the improvements to infrastructure. The 2019 baseline taxable property value of the proposed TIRZ is about $97.3 million, and the city and county would each contribute 75 percent of their total incremental tax collections, according to the draft plan analysis.

Brownsville Independent School District, Brownsville Navigation District and Texas Southmost College also have taxing jurisdiction over the area that would constitute TIRZ No. 3.

The portion of downtown the city is targeting for a TIRZ is eligible for such designation under the state’s Tax Increment Financing Act because the poor state of buildings, streets and sidewalks “substantially arrests and impairs the sound growth of the City, retards the provision of housing accommodations, constitutes an economic and social liability and is a menace to the public health, safety, morals and welfare in its present condition and use,” according to the draft plan.

TIRZ No. 3 is not related to a TIRZ requested by California-based Land Grant Development to proceed with its proposed Rio Grande Esplanade riverfront redevelopment project. City commissioners voted in April to conditionally approve a TIRZ for that project pending further analysis, though in September the commission tabled a vote on whether to create a TIRZ for the riverfront project.

sclark@brownsvilleherald.com

Follow us on Facebook

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




Online Features

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>