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Texarkana school board OKs provision that allows tax break to move forward

by Andrew Bell | November 17, 2021 at 10:00 p.m.

TEXARKANA, Texas -- The Texarkana Independent School District Board of Trustees approved a resolution designating the TCI Texarkana Reinvestment Zone, pursuant to Chapters 312 and 313 of the Texas Tax Code, during a regular meeting on Wednesday.

Texas Tax Code Chapter 313 creates a state tax incentive program for certain large businesses to limit the appraised value on their property for the purposes of local Texas public school district property taxes. Creating a reinvestment zone is a necessary step under chapter 313 for TCI to be eligible for a limitation agreement.

An appraised value limitation is an agreement between a taxpayer and a Texas school district in which the taxpayer proposes to build or install property -- and create jobs meeting certain job and wage requirements -- in exchange for a ten-year limitation on the taxpayer's property value for school district maintenance and operations tax purposes.

According to buzzfile.com, TCI Texarkana, which also operates under the name Texarkana Aluminum, is located in Texarkana, Texas (Nash) and primarily operates in the coils/sheet aluminum business.

In October, Bowie County Commissioners Court announced it was considering granting Texarkana Aluminum's parent company a 50% cut (abatement) on the company's annual property taxes. The tax cut would last five years.

The abatement would be a financial incentive for the company to expand operations on 119 acres of property in the 300 block of Alumax Drive, in Nash. The expansion has been estimated at $175 million. Eighty jobs are expected to be created.

A public hearing was held Wednesday where no one spoke, before the resolution was approved later in the meeting.

"This is something we've studied for a number of months now," Board President Fred Norton said.

In other news from the meeting, the board approved a Committed Fund Balance resolution. From portions of the June 30 General Fund and Child Nutrition Fund, TISD will assign a fund balance of $8 million to future repairs, renovations and betterments of school facilities and $1 million for food service construction consisting of future repairs, renovations and betterments of food service facilities.

The district's audit report for the fiscal year of 2020-2021 was also approved.

Auditors from the firm of Thomas & Thomas, LLP found no findings on TISD's accounting controls and procedures and determined that the district continues to maintain a sound financial position. For the 2020-2021 fiscal year, the district's General Fund Balance remained relatively consistent at $17.3 million.

The fund balance at the end of 2020-21 was 24% of General Fund expenditures.

(The next board meeting will be Wednesday, Dec. 15.)

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