County agrees to Denton TIRZ #2

Denton and Rayzor Investments got an early Christmas present from Denton County on Dec. 21. The commissioners agreed to participate in the city’s proposed tax-increment reinvestment zone for about 800 acres of land in the city’s growing industrial park on the west side of town.

Over the years, I’ve watched the county commissioners rebuff a number of requests to participate in tax-increment finance districts. To check myself, I went to the state registry to be sure. The only other registered zone is Lewisville’s old town — and that deal went through in 2001.

Both the city and the county are in for 40 percent of new value after 2012. In other words, the zone can use 40 percent of what both the city and the county collect in new property taxes for the next 25 years to pay off bonds for public infrastructure built in the zone. For an industrial area, that could add up fast. Not only taxes on buildings and other improvements to the land would contribute to the zone, but also taxes on business personal property.

Currently, the proposed projects include $8 million for streets, $5 million for utilities and drainage, and $1.3 million to support industrial projects.

Not sure what “support industrial projects” means (would the proposed combined heat and power plant be eligible?), but we can watch and report on the proceedings of the zone’s board of directors to see where that tax money goes.

The zone would be governed by a board that has nine appointees from the city, one from Rayzor and one from the county.

Rachel Mehlhaff is rounding up more information and will report in the Denton Business-Chronicle. Watch for that on Jan. 16.