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Kilgore zone will fund road, other upgrades


POSTED: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 9:27pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 9:29pm

Gregg County commissioners on Monday OK’d the annual report for a special zone established in Kilgore to pay for improvements using future taxes paid by developers.

A Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone was created about two years ago along Texas 42, from Interstate 20 into downtown Kilgore, with a spur along Texas 31 to Fritz Swanson Road.

Known by its initials, a TIRZ provides an incentive for developers by setting aside all or most of the taxes they pay on any improvements they build. That tax money can be used for road improvements, to lay utilities or for other uses such as the environmental or archeological studies required by many projects. They also can buy rights of way.

The Kilgore TIRZ money also can be used for downtown projects such as the Main Street Overlay. The city, Kilgore College and Gregg County are partners in the Kilgore TIRZ.

“For a city like Kilgore, and for the cities that use these tools ... not only does it help someone who wants financial assistance to render their land for development ... it creates the opportunity for everybody to work together, to pool their money and accomplish that tax base expansion (created by developers) more quickly,” said Bill Calderon, executive director of the Kilgore Redevelopment Authority that oversees the Kilgore TIRZ.

He said Merritt Partnership is the developer.

While the phenomenon might seem complex, the fund it develops is humble — the three partner governments sent $6,158 of their 2011 tax hauls to the TIRZ account.

Read more on this story here.

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