Rural Programs

Rural Assistance Programs

The Economic Development and Analysis Division (EDA) provides Texas’ rural communities with detailed economic data and analysis from internal and external sources, serving as a turnkey information source to assist rural communities in improving government efficiency and achieving economic growth. We specialize in subjects including:

  • tax programs and incentive support;
  • job creation initiatives;
  • economic impact analysis;
  • financial transparency;
  • limiting financial exposure and
  • budgeting and purchasing efficiencies.

EDA’s team of analysts provide technical assistance on a wide variety of issues related to state and local tax programs, financial management, and federal, state, and local economics.

Local Tax Programs

  • Type A and B Economic Development Corporations
  • Event Trust Fund
  • Chapter 312 Tax Abatements
  • Chapter 313 Texas Economic Development Act
  • Chapter 380/381 Agreements

Rural Grant Resources

  • Where to Look
  • Description of Grant

Jobs and Education for Texans (JET)

Equipment Grants for Community Colleges

The Comptroller’s Job Building Fund provides grants to community colleges to support building and equipment demands for high-growth industries throughout the state in an era of rapidly increasing enrollment.
Learn more about the JET Job Builidng Fund on the Every Chance, Every Texan website »

State Energy Conservation Office

Incentives and Grant Programs

SECO posts current state opportunities and federal programs that can offer your community incentives or financial assistance with energy conservation projects. Find more information on the opportunities available to your community »

Local Government Financial Management Resources

For additional guidance with finance topics including budgeting and purchasing for rural cities and counties, see our Local Government Financial Management Resources »

Designing an Effective Rural Development Strategy

Changes in technology and the globalization of the markets have reduced employment in farming and many rural-oriented industries. In order to strengthen the economic opportunities in rural Texas it is important to develop a rural development strategy. In many cases a more efficient use of resources is for rural cities to act regionally as opposed to individually. Successful economic development strategies recognize market trends when identifying economic niches where the locality can have a comparative advantage.

Incorporating economic diversification into the development strategy is a vital key to success. For some rural areas a focus on entrepreneurship and small business development can be helpful. A rural area should also build their economic strategy on a strong basis of community development. Community development could include improved housing, infrastructure and quality of life items that will contribute to the community's economic success and provide an incentive to prospective new business.

In summary, an effective rural development strategy should:

  • build on local strengths,
  • adjust for local weaknesses,
  • recognize market realities,
  • attempt to achieve development that can be sustained for the foreseeable future, and create local support.

Sources from U.S. Department of Agriculture: Economic Research Service:

“Designing an Effective Rural Development Strategy,” Amber Waves

“Rural Development Strategies: Designing an Effective Rural Development Strategy”

Get Ready Texas! Ag/Timber Number Registration

Important Notice: New Exemption Requirement for Commercial Agriculture and Timber Operations

House Bill 268, passed during the 82nd Regular Legislative Session (2011), requires that a person claiming an exemption from sales tax on the purchase of certain items used in the production of agricultural and timber products must provide a registration number issued by the Comptroller of Public Accounts on the exemption certificate issued to the seller.

For more information, please visit Texas Taxes for Agriculture and Timber Industries.

Download Retailers’ Guide to the Sales Tax Exemption Registration Requirement (PDF)