Nearly four years after Travis County commissioners enacted a moratorium on public improvement districts, the ban has been lifted effective Feb. 1.

Term to know

A public improvement district, or PID, is a financial tool that entities can use to generate tax revenue for projects within the district bounds. The funds can go toward improvements of existing land such as fixing roads but can also go toward construction of new facilities.

The gist

Commissioners enacted the PID moratorium March 31, 2020, meaning no new applications were allowed for submission and consideration by the court. The move came as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty that followed, according to agenda documents.

However, at the Jan. 30 commissioner meeting, the dais voted to lift the moratorium and update the county's existing PID policy.

Commissioners and county staff have been working since early 2022 to bring forth revisions that would eventually lead to the PID lift.

A couple notable changes to the policy include:
  • No more than 10% of the homes in a PID can be sold to investment-type entities.
  • The PID application fee has increased from $55,000 to $150,000.
What they're saying

"We are doing something very significant with the way we've structured this policy in that we are doing very creative things to try and assure that the homes that we're helping provide financing tools to build will remain in homeownership and not be lost into the rental world," Commissioner Brigid Shea said. "Hopefully this will start to make a dent in the crisis that we're we hearing so much about—the lack of availability of homes for people to buy for homeownership."