Hays CISD trustees vote in favor of Freeport Tax exemption at meeting Monday

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Hays CISD Trustees

At a meeting Monday evening, the Hays CISD school board voted to approve a tax exemption in an effort to bring new businesses to the area.

According to the Texas Comptroller, the Freeport Tax exemption provides a property tax exemption on inventory, such as goods, wares, ores and merchandise, that is detained in Texas for 175 days or less. Oil, gas and other petroleum products are not eligible.

The board previously denied the ad valorem tax-exempt status for Freeport goods back in 1989.

“As soon as I became president of the board and set the first agenda, I wanted [the Freeport exemption] back on the agenda,” board President Holly Raymond said.

Kyle City Council Member Travis Mitchell, who is also a business owner, spoke in support of the Freeport exemption during the public forum at the meeting. Ten years ago, there would have been more of a risk in passing the exemption. Now, every district surrounding Kyle has it, he said.

“If we do not pass it, new businesses will not come. It makes no sense for a business to do that. No business in their right mind would come to this district when they could come to literally every other city within 15, 20 miles of here and find much more open arms and favorable tax policies,” Mitchell said.

Per Kyle’s economic incentives policy, the top businesses the city wants to attract are those in the biomedical, science and advanced manufacturing industries, which rely heavily on Freeport exemptions, Mitchell said.

“Businesses that create the most jobs, we cannot get without this exemption,” he said.

As a result of the exemption, the district will see a surplus of $900,000 in the first five years, he said.

The board passed a resolution to authorize the exemption from taxation of Freeport goods by a vote of 6-0. Trustee-at-large Sandra Bryant chose to abstain from the vote.

“I’m excited to move forward with this,” District 4 trustee Meredith Keller said. “But I’m also super excited because I see a future in partnership [with the city] in a lot of ways. We could do some great things if we work together. I see that future and I think it’s going to be pretty bright.”