An Assessed Value Limitation Agreement, in which a taxpayer agrees to build or install real estate and create jobs, in exchange for a limitation on the school district`s taxable real estate value for maintenance and operating tax (M&O) purposes and a tax credit. The minimum limit varies by school district. These discretionary incentives typically take the form of property tax reductions, loans or grants, infrastructure commitments, or payments of certain portions of the turnover tax generated by the project. Negotiations on these incentives between the local jurisdiction and the developer take place on a case-by-case basis. Chapter 380 is specifically intended for use by cities, while Chapter 381 is specifically intended for use by district governments. These agreements can be used in tandem for the same project. NEW LAWSUIT AIMS TO BLOCK WASHINGTON HEIGHTS WALMART TAX DEAL A nonprofit group created to fight the Washington Heights Walmart project in the West End filed a lawsuit in district court yesterday, claiming that the tax refund agreement between the city and the project`s developer, Ainbinder Heights LLC, was contrary to the law of the State. Houston`s responsible urban development calls for the $6 million deal by which the city promises to reimburse infrastructure improvement developers for a «free unconstitutional transfer» that is not in line with state standards. The complaint also seeks to conclude all of the city`s similar deals because they «do not provide sufficient controls to ensure that the 380 deals are not used as a final race to bond funding procedures or as political favors to well-connected developers.» The city council is set to vote today on a similar deal for a new Kroger in Studemont, south of I-10. [Houston Policy; legal remedies; West End Walmart-Coverage] A large number of cities and counties in the Houston area offer tax reduction agreements that exempt a portion of the increased value of real or personal real estate from tax for a period not exceeding 10 years.
COMMENT OF THE DAY: WATCH OUT FOR SIGNS OF A TURN 380 TURNER «Mayor Parker threw a lot of candy at the developers in the form of 380 agreements and the massive downtown housing initiative. Since Mayor Turner took office, no new agreement of 380 has been reached before Council. If big new projects like the Halliburton site or the Tarkett site don`t get 380 deals, it will be pretty clear that there has been a significant transfer of power in the mayor`s office away from the developers. «[Old School, comments From Houston Housing Authority Resigns As a Result of Briargrove Mixed-Income Kerfuffle] Illustration: Lulu The county can also develop and manage a program for entering into a tax reduction agreement. . . .