The Montgomery County Commissioners Court approved a seven-year property tax abatement for Layne Christensen, the water management, construction and drilling company that is relocating 135 employees to its 51,000-square-foot office space at One Hughes Landing in The Woodlands in 2014.

A tax abatement is an agreement that allows a business to not pay property taxes for a specific length of time as a competitive advantage to attract new businesses to an area.

The abatement with Layne Christensen is for 100 percent the first four years, 75 percent in year five, 50 percent in year six and 25 percent the final year. Montgomery County Tax Assessor J.R. Moore said by the end of the abatement in 2021, the estimated annual tax value added to the property will be nearly $172,000. Moore said 135 employees will be relocating to the office, a number that could grow to 210 by 2020.

The 197,000-square-foot One Hughes Landing should be completed by September, said Gil Staley, CEO of The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership. Funding for the abatement came from the Governor’s Texas Enterprise Fund, which is used to attract businesses from out of state, Staley said. The Woodlands competed with the Atlanta metropolitan area for Layne Christensen’s relocation.

“It was important that we had this particular abatement to be competitive with the Atlanta metro area,” Staley said. “This project fits what [The Woodlands is] doing perfectly.”

Staley said The Woodlands Township can now approve its own tax abatement for Layne Christensen, which could happen at an upcoming board of directors meeting.


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