Shavano Park officials will craft a formal economic development policy to provide tools and incentives. which could give existing local business owners more flexibility to grow.

The background

City Council on March 25 approved the introduction of an economic development policy. Assistant City Manager Curtis Leeth said state municipal code allows cities to extend economic incentives to drive commercial development.

However, representatives for the city’s legal team recommended the city formally establish an economic development policy to guide city staff and local merchants on how to request economic incentives.

Dig deeper

Leeth said, with Shavano Park formulating an economic development policy, state rules will allow the town to provide two primary types of economic incentives. One would empower property owners to petition for the creation of a public improvement district, which would levy an additional tax on owners of properties within that district to self-fund infrastructure improvements in that area.

In a PID, the property owners would agree to fund construction of new infrastructure or support ongoing operation and maintenance of public improvements, such as parks, public open space or trails.

Another major type of economic incentive is a Texas Local Government Code Chapter 380, which permits cities to provide a grant or loan of city funds or services, such as tax abatements, to promote commercial growth.

Leeth said, in either case, council has authority to establish additional requirements on a PID or a Chapter 380 agreement.