New program would give tax breaks to renovators


Corsicana, TXThe Corsicana City Council created a downtown revitalization district that will offer tax breaks for people fixing up buildings downtown.

Under the new ordinance, someone making improvements on their property could either get a refund on their city taxes, or could have their property appraisal frozen for a period of up to five years.

“This is a two-part program,” explained City Manager Connie Standridge. “The first part is a tax credit or abatement. If they spend an amount equal to their (city) taxes in any given year they can get an abatement.”

The second part of the program would offer a tax freeze for five years, as an incentive to property owners who fear that improvements would escalate their appraisals and cause their taxes to go up.

The boundaries of the revitalization district are, roughly, from Second Avenue on the north, the Old Cotton Belt Railroad on the south, the Union Pacific Railroad on the east, and 12th Street on the west. Inside that area is about $7 million worth of property, Standridge said.

“If everybody takes advantage of this it would mean about $47,000 out of your budget,” she told the council. “The budget’s $15 million.”

If someone were to get the abatement, and then wanted to sell the property, the abatement would go with the property. As well, any property owner wanting to be a part of the program would have to get approval on the work beforehand, if they expect the city to refund their property taxes.

For now, the program would only offer the abatements and freezes on city taxes, however, the city will also ask the county to participate, Standridge said.

By Janet Jacobs, Corsicana Daily Sun


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