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March 25, 2013

Council asked to help defeat House bill

GREENVILLE — The Greenville Board of Development is seeking the City Council’s  help in defeating a bill before it goes before the full Texas House.

The proposed House Bill 1935, if adopted by the 83rd Texas Legislature, could lead to the elimination of one the Board of Development’s main sources of funding which it uses to create local jobs.

Board of Development President and CEO Greg Sims is asking the Council to pass a resolution in support of the movement to defeat the legislation.

The Council is scheduled to consider the resolution during Tuesday’s regular session, starting at 6 p.m. in the Municipal Building, 2821 Washington Street. A work session is also set for 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Since 2002, the City of Greenville has had a 4A Economic Development Corporation.

Both the Board of Development and the 4A Economic Development Corporation are made up of the same individuals and serve the same purpose, recruiting new businesses to Greenville or retaining and expanding existing industries.

However, they vary in how they are funded. While the Board of Development receives an annual allocation from the Greenville Electric Utility System, the 4A Economic Development Corporation receives a rededication of one-eighth of one percent of the sales tax rebate revenue collected by the City of Greenville.

In a memo to the Council, Sims said the 4A Corporation has been a valuable asset.

“Since 2002, the 4A Economic Development Corporation has collected an average of $450,000 per year and used those funds to create or retain over one thousand jobs and created over $12 million in local tax revenue for the City of Greenville, Hunt County, Greenville ISD and Hunt Regional Medical,” Sims said.

Sims explained State Representative Matt Schaefer of Tyler submitted HB 1935 to the House Economic Development Committee.

The proposed legislation would allow 4A and/or 4B  funds to instead be used for general infrastructure projects, that are not designed to promote new or expanded business developments.

“The Board of the Greenville 4A Economic Development Corporation feels it is vital to the preservation of economic development sales tax to allow these very important sales tax funds to create and retain jobs and tax base that Cities can then utilize its overall commercial and residential tax base growth for the general bonding of general infrastructure,” Sims said.

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