Texas Rising May/June 2009

This month: How to tap the Comptroller’s online resources to promote economic development

Help at Your Fingertips:

For more information about the services available from the Comptroller’s Local Government Assistance and Economic Development Division call: (800) 531-5441, ext. 3-4679, or visit Texas Ahead.

For more information on the economic data and analysis services offered by the Comptroller’s office, please visit the Texas EDGE Web site.

To find and contact an LGA staff member in your region, visit the complete listing on Texas Ahead.

Partnering for Impact

Comptroller’s online tools offer help for local governments

The Comptroller’s office empowers local governments and communities with the information and tools they need to support economic development and create new jobs for Texans. Look for our special “Partnering for Impact” section in each issue, featuring timely, important information and tips for local governments and economic development corporations.

For years, the Comptroller’s Local Government Assistance Division (LGA) has been a “one-stop shop” for information and advice on a wide variety of issues facing local governments. In 2008, the Comptroller’s office restructured LGA by designating staff to serve each region of the state, providing these team members additional training and adding online resources to deliver economic development services. This division, Local Government Assistance and Economic Development, offers advisory services and technical assistance for state and local economic development programs.

Local governments can seek guidance on economic development sales tax corporations, property tax abatements, appraised value limitations for school districts and other business incentives to promote economic development in Texas cities.

The Comptroller’s office has also rolled out two online tools to help promote effective government and economic development in the state.

Texas Ahead, at www.TexasAhead.org, offers a comprehensive portal to a wide variety of resources to help local officials grow their economies and improve governance. The site provides links to success stories from across the state; award-winning Comptroller publications; and in-depth special reports. A recent addition to the site, Texas Transparency Check-Up, offers examples and tips on how local governments can open their books to the public and demonstrate that taxpayer funds are spent efficiently.

Another helpful online tool, Texas EDGE, short for Texas Economic Data for Growth and Expansion, provides current data for planning and economic forecasting. This online resource offers both self-service and staff-assisted access to a wide variety of economic data from the state, cities, counties and other governmental entities.

Whether officials use our self-service resources or partner with our expert staff, the Texas Comptroller’s office is here to provide tools to grow the state and local economies and contribute to more efficient and effective government. TR