Court OKs tax break for factory
By LPR Staff
After a required review of Caldwell county”s tax abatement policy, the Commissioners Court approved the existing policy on Monday. They then offered a substantial tax abatement to a manufacturer considering relocating to the area.
“We”re supposed to revisit our tax abatement policies every two years to make sure they”re
doing what they”re supposed to do,” said County Judge H.T. Wright. “The current policy has been in place since 2000.”
The county”s abatement policy allows for up to a 100 percent tax abatement for up to 10 years. The county can legally use the abatement to entice companies that will potentially bring business, jobs and eventual tax revenue to the area.
“The abatement is meant to draw businesses,” said City of Lockhart Economic Development Director Sandra Mauldin. “But the companies should help the government in return.”
Mauldin approached the commissioners on behalf of Austin manufacturer Dormae Products, Ltd., a Serta mattress manufacturer who is considering a move to Lockhart. According to Mauldin, Dormae has been in negotiations to purchase the Kewaunee building and property on Highway 20 East, and is requesting tax abatements to ease the costs of relocation and remodeling the building. The City of Lockhart approved a 100 percent abatement over 10 years during their last meeting in April.
According to both Mauldin and Wright, if Dormae Products chooses to relocate to Lockhart, there is potential for a variety of economic bonuses for the county, including the possibility for local trucking contracts, increased tax revenue and the creation of up to 60 new jobs.
The Court unanimously agreed to grant the abatement for the renovations and/or new construction on the property only. The estimated tax revenue involved totals about $4,200 per year.
Dormae Products, Ltd. is expected to announce their decision in the next few weeks.
Caldwell County is also preparing to move forward with the purchase of several electronic voting machines. The funds for the machines, a total of $279,133, will be provided by a federal “Help America Vote Act” (HAVA) grant.
According to Commissioner Tom Bonn, a community training session has been scheduled on June 16 at the Lockhart High School Cafetorium. Bonn said that no time had been confirmed as yet for the training, but that representatives would be available either in the late afternoon or early evening to teach the public how to use the new electronic voting machines.
In brief Court news:
The Court approved a variance allowing a resident to sell .74 acres of a 1.74 acre tract on Clark Loop to her nephew.
They also allowed an 11.03-acre tract on CR 103 to be subdivided into two equal 5.515-acre tracts.
The county paid bills in the amount of $95,436.36, $8,898 of which was applied toward indigent legal defense.