We try to make it as easy as possible to open or relocate to Williamson County. This includes help with local, county, state and national incentives that may include waiving of fees, job training, fast-tracking of permits, tax rebates, direct incentives and more. Several options are summarized below.
Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ)
A Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) is an area within the United States designated by the federal government as outside of U.S. Customs territory. FTZs encourage investment in the U.S. and the creation of American jobs by allowing U.S. businesses to operate with equivalent customs treatment to business conducted off-shore. Businesses using FTZs can reduce customs duties and fees and achieve logistics benefits for the import and export of goods.
The Foreign Trade Zone of Central Texas, Inc., is the grantee of FTZ 183 and is run by a board of directors appointed by the cities and chambers in the Austin metropolitan area. Many areas have already been approved by the federal government as eligible FTZ property, thus drastically decreasing the approval time and potential expense.
Freeport Exemptions and the FTZ work in conjunction. Freeport exempts inventory held in Texas for less than 175 days from property tax. The FTZ exempts any item imported from outside the U.S., regardless of the ultimate destination, and there is no time restriction. For jurisdictions which have a Freeport exemption, the incremental effect of the FTZ is to exempt inventory which has been imported from outside the U.S. and is destined for a Texas customer. All other inventory that might be exempt under the FTZ exemption is already exempt under Freeport.
Texas Enterprise Fund
The Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) is a cash grant used as a financial incentive tool for projects that offer significant projected job creation and capital investment, and is used when a single Texas geographic site is competing with another viable out-of-state area. Since 2004, the TEF has awarded over 100 grants totaling more than $500 million dollars. It is the largest “deal closing” fund of its kind in the U.S.
Skills Development Fund
The Texas Workforce Commission has created a Skills Development Fund that assists businesses by financing the design and implementation of customized job training programs. The goal is to create custom, local training programs that develop the skills and wage levels of the Texas workforce. A business or businesses identify training needs, and then partners with a public community or technical college fill the need. Business partners are primarily private for-profit businesses.
Williamson County’s Texas Property Assessed Clean Energy (TX-PACE) Program
The Williamson County’s Texas Property Assessed Clean Energy or TX-PACE is an innovative financing program that incentivizes owners of commercial (including nonprofit, retail, healthcare and hospitality), industrial (including manufacturing and agricultural), and multifamily residential properties (with five or more dwelling units) to obtain low-cost, long-term financing for water conservation, energy-efficiency, renewable, and resilience retrofits. TX-PACE programs enable owners to lower their operating costs and use the savings to pay for eligible projects. Owners gain access to private, affordable, long-term (typically 10-20 years) financing that is not available through traditional funding avenues. To learn more about Williamson County’s PACE program or submit an application, please visit www.TexasPACEAuthority.org for additional information.