How a tax legislation expiring is affecting ECISD and local businesses

Chapter 313 gives some companies a tax abatement for building and operating within a school district.
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Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 5:15 PM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) -Just before the New Year started Texas legislators voted to discontinue the tax legislation, Chapter 313.

Chapter 313 gives some companies a tax abatement for building and operating within a school district.

The legislation has been around since 2002 helping many businesses and schools throughout the state.

Chapter 313 is designed to attract new businesses to certain school districts by offering them a 10-year limitation on their appraised property value for a portion of the school district property tax.

In exchange for the value limitation, the business agrees to build or install new property and create jobs in the school district.

But since 2015 when Governor Abbott took office chapter 313 has come under fire, with some lawmakers saying it is not needed in the state of Texas.

“There were some controversial aspects to it like in terms of what type of projects should be eligible for Chapter 313 agreements and then also I think not necessarily here in West Texas but some of the major metropolitan areas there were some questions about how some of those programs were being used” Rep. Brooks Landgraf, State Representative House District 81.

Over the last couple of years here in Odessa, several businesses have made agreements with ECISD through Chapter 313, which has helped the district financially.

“This year in particular we’ve written along with these businesses a large number of chapter 313 agreements that over the next 10-15-20 years we’ll pay dividends to ECISD, thus allowing the school district to invest a lot more into the needs of our kids” Dr. Scott Muri, ECISD Superintendent

Dr. Muri would go on to say this is another way to attract new employers to the area and also explained when energy companies looked at the property they would look a little closer at Ector County specifically.

“And we had multiple large corporations that were very interested in coming to Ector County specifically and ECISD was just one of the taxing entities that were a part of these contract negotiations with these companies,” said Dr. Muri

With 313 expired there is hope something similar will take its place.

“Not having 313 again but having something similar that provides the benefits without maybe all of the burdens,” said Rep. Landgraf