The City of Tyler has guidelines in place to use City funds for land, facilities, equipment and infrastructure grants to support primary employers that impact primary jobs, expand the City tax base and diversify the local economy. Eligible companies must create or retain a minimum of 50 full time jobs and sell 70% of their goods and/or services outside a 50 mile radius of downtown Tyler.
In 1995, City of Tyler voters approved the adoption of an economic development sales tax, also referred to as the Half Cent Sales Tax . The original primary intent of the tax, known as the 4A Half Cent Sales Tax, was for manufacturing and industrial development, and cities could use the money raised by this sales tax to acquire or pay for land, buildings, equipment, facilities, expenditures, targeted infrastructure and improvements for purposes related to:
manufacturing and industrial facilities, recycling facilities, distribution centers, small warehouse facilities;
research and development facilities, regional or national corporate headquarters facilities, primary job training facilities for use by institutions of higher education, job training classes; telephone call centers; and career centers that are not located within a junior college taxing district;
a general aviation business service airport that is an integral part of an industrial park;
certain infrastructure improvements, which promote or develop new or expanded business enterprises;
port-related facilities to support waterborne commerce; and
future job growth by occupation
The City of Tyler, however, adopted the 4B Half Cent Sales Tax, which expanded the use of these funds for quality of life improvements, including economic development that will attract and retain primary employers. To promote and develop new and expanded business enterprises that create or retain primary jobs, a city may provide:
public safety facilities;
drainage and related improvements;
demolition of existing structures;
general municipally owned improvements;
maintenance and operating costs associated with projects; and
any other project that the board determines will contribute to the promotion or development of new or expanded business enterprises that create or retain primary jobs.
The City now collects approximately $10 million in Half-Cent Sales Tax revenues which have allowed the City to pay cash for capital projects such as drainage and street improvements, public safety improvements, construction of Faulkner Park, construction of the Glass Recreation Center, construction of the new airport terminal and more. For more information about the Tyler's use of these funds, please click here.
The Texas Municipal League has assumed editing and publication of the Economic Development Handbook. The publication, originally prepared by the Texas attorney general’s office, had become out-of-date. League staff, as well as several recognized legal experts, have updated the handbook and posted it online. It will be updated following each session of the Texas Legislature. The publication is only available online and can be downloaded in PDF format.