The West Columbia Economic Development Corporation holds their regular meeting the first Monday in February, April, June, August, October, and December. Special meetings are called as necessary. Meetings are held at 7:00 pm in the City Council Chambers, 514 E. Brazos Avenue, unless otherwise posted.
The following economic development tools are available for selected projects, and negotiated on a case-by-case basis to assist an eligible business in expanding or relocated to West Columbia. Incentives are based on the number of quality jobs created and/or retained, and direct investment in the project.
Call 979-345-3123 to inquire about a customized package for your project!
Economic Development Sales Tax
On May 6, 1995, the 4B Sales Tax was adopted by the West Columbia residents. These proceeds may be used to fund activities related to business attraction/retention, land and building purchase, and infrastructure installation or upgrades.
Business Incentive Grant Program
The purpose of this program is to promote the development and expansion of new and existing business enterprises and attract more people to the area, which will generate additional sales activity and to enhance the economic welfare of the citizens of the city, by securing and retaining business enterprises and maintaining a higher level of employment, economic activity and stability within the City. This program is intended to assist property owners or tenants with improvements or restorations of the esthetics and appearance. The West Columbia Economic Development Corporation (the "WCEDC") has budgeted $25,000 per fiscal year (October 1 to September 30) to fund this grant program. Upon depletion of those funds, the WCEDC will be under no obligation to fund additional grants. The maximum amount of funding available to any one applicant or business establishment shall be $5,000 per fiscal year. The grant amount shall be equal to 50% of the cost of improvements for any combination of the categories listed below up to a total of $5,000.
• Facade Improvements
• Sign Improvement
• Property Improvement
• Mural Incentive
The City of West Columbia will consider a reinvestment zone for the purpose of tax abatement, tax increment financing and public improvement districts.
Property Tax Abatement
To promote and retain high quality development in the city, the City of West Columbia will consider a property tax abatement on the appraised value of real property improvements and business personal property in accordance with the city’s guidelines and criteria for granting a tax abatement. This includes the construction of new homes. See Section H #4. Guidelines
Tax Increment Financing
The City of West Columbia will consider using Tax Increment Financing to finance needed public improvements in a defined area. The cost of public infrastructure improvements to the area is repaid by the contribution of future city ad valorem tax revenues.
Economic Development Grants/Loans
Chapter 380 of the Local Government Code provides legislative authority for municipalities to establish a program for making loans and grants to promote state and local economic development, and to stimulate business and commercial activity in the city.
Other incentives that will be considered include: -Free land
- Development grants and waiver or discount of all city fees
- Participation in all public infrastructure development activities relating to projects.
By law the West Columbia City Council must consider incentives on a case-by-case basis and incentives cannot be guaranteed until the City Council considers the proposal in a formal public meeting. All incentives will be tied to a development guarantee or "claw back" agreement between the developer and the City of West Columbia. A cost/benefit analysis will be preformed on each project.