The Northwest ISD board approved a tax incentive agreement with Bell Textron Inc. during its regular meeting April 22 for the construction of a manufacturing facility. If passed at the state level, it could mean an additional $14.16 million in tax revenues for the district over the life of the agreement.

The details

During his presentation to the board, Director of Finance Jonathan Pastusek said the agreement is a relatively new type of economic development tool referred to as a JETI, which stands for jobs, energy, technology and innovation. Pastusek said JETIs were enacted in the 88th Legislature to enable school districts, businesses and the governor’s office to enter into economic development agreements.

Pastusek said JETI agreements have 10-year lifespans, and they have a mandate to create jobs and provide investment minimums within the district.

According to district documents, if the proposed site within the district is selected, Bell Textron would use it to build a facility to manufacture its future long-range assault aircraft. Bell Textron is analyzing several locations in multiple states to establish this facility, but no final decision has been made.

Quote of note

“The investment total [by Bell Textron] is approximately $429 million, and 75 jobs will be created with an annual wage of $69,784,” Pastusek said. “The biggest advantage is a potential internship for some of our students. The opportunity for our students to see how all of this works would be fantastic.”

What you need to know

Pastusek said tax revenues from the project would impact both the district's maintenance and operations as well as its interest and sinking funds. Pastusek added that while the JETI agreement would generate $9.2 million in additional maintenance and operations taxes collected during the lifespan of the agreement, much of that money would be going back to the state as recapture payments.

Recapture—also known as Robin Hood—allows the state to remove local property tax dollars from public school districts and then apply those dollars to the state’s general fund.

NISD board President Steve Sprowls took the opportunity to address the audience on how much recapture would take away from the district over the next 10 years.

“$162.3 million of your taxpayer money that you pay in property taxes goes back to the state where it may or may not be used for education,” Sprowls said. “That’s a big concern, and that’s got to change.”

Next steps

Pastusek said NISD board approval is only one step in the application process. Now that it’s been approved by the board, it still must receive the governor’s approval and be submitted to the Texas state comptroller for execution.