This month: Postwar foresight has benefited community
Economic Development and Analysis
Region 6 – Annette Holmes
Annette Holmes is the Comptroller’s representative for the 42 counties in the Heart of Texas, Capital, Brazos Valley, Alamo and Central Texas areas. She serves as the senior project analyst for special events and is responsible for marketing the various products and services that the Comptroller’s office provides local governments.
Annette has more than 30 years of state service, including 15 years at the Comptroller’s office.
Annette and the other local government specialists can offer technical assistance about programs that foster economic development including property tax abatements, appraised value limitations for school districts and the sales tax for economic development. They stay informed about relevant state and federal laws and can update cities, counties and special districts on important tax and other legislative changes. Find out more at TexasAhead.org
The Comptroller’s Economic Development and Analysis division also serves as the state’s portal to information on federal stimulus funds, including energy conservation grants for local governments to retrofit public buildings and reduce energy costs.
Partnering for Impact
Business and industrial parks coming up roses in Tyler
Tyler business and community leaders were ahead of most Texas communities when they developed their city's first industrial park shortly after World War II. It has paid dividends for the community in the decades that followed.
More than 65 years ago, business and community leaders in the northeast Texas city of Tyler decided they needed a proactive approach to attracting and retaining well-paid manufacturing jobs.
Today, the community is home to several well-known manufacturers including Trane, Carrier and Tyler Pipe Company, which among them employ more than a third of the Tyler area’s 10,000-strong manufacturing work force.
Today’s prosperity can be attributed to the community’s foresight during World War II, when officials were concerned that the city – best known for producing half of the country’s rose bushes each year – would not have enough jobs for returning servicemen. Using only private funds, community and business leaders formed the Tyler Industrial Foundation (TIF) in late 1944.
The foundation’s first project was an industrial park, previously a large parcel of farmland west of the city, where roads, water and sewer were installed to facilitate future industrial development. As the land was sold off to manufacturers, the profits went into a fund for future projects, including land acquisition for a second industrial park. By the time TIF transferred the industrial park operations to the Tyler Economic Development Council (TEDC) in the early 1990s, its assets had grown to more than $6 million.
“Having the land to offer as a relocation incentive is an important tool for us.”
– Tom Mullins, TEDC president and CEO
Although the city offers a number of incentives, “when businesses look at our small market, having the land to offer as a relocation incentive is an important tool for us,” says Tom Mullins, TEDC president and CEO. “We have no cost basis so we can do what’s necessary to close the deals.”
On the other hand, TEDC has been careful to look for opportunities to sell land for fair-market value to retailers when it’s better suited for that purpose, and to generate funds for future projects in the process.
Always planning ahead, TEDC purchased 120 acres of land just north of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UTHSCT) about 10 years ago. “We saw the potential for a master planned biomedical research park,” says Mullins. With the 2009 groundbreaking for a $67 million expansion to UTHSCT for construction of medical training classrooms and a cancer center, TEDC’s biomedical venture is ready for a “rosy” future. TR
See aerial maps and read about the Tyler Industrial and Business Park’s amenities.