Texas Enterprise Zone Program
The Texas Enterprise Zone Program is an economic development tool for local communities to partner with the State of Texas to promote job creation and capital investment in economically distressed areas of the state.
The Enterprise Zone Program establishes a process that clearly identifies severely distressed areas of the state and provides local and state incentives to induce private investment in those areas. The program is set up to remove unnecessary government regulatory barriers blocking economic growth, and provide tax incentives and economic development program benefits. Designation of an area as an enterprise zone is also designation of the area as a reinvestment zone for tax increment financing, tax abatement, and limitations on appraised value.
An enterprise zone is a census tract block group that has a 20% or more poverty rate based upon the most recent decennial census federal poverty level information, a distressed county, a federally designated zone, or renewal community.
- A local community must nominate a company as an Enterprise Project to be eligible to participate in the Enterprise Zone Program. Texas law limits the number of allocations that may be awarded to local communities per biennium.
- In order to qualify a project for the Enterprise Zone Program, local communities must offer incentives to the project such as tax abatement, tax increment financing, and one-stop permitting.
- Communities may nominate projects, for a designation period up to five years, non-inclusive of a 90-day window prior to the application deadline. Employment and capital investment commitments must be incurred and met within this timeframe.
- Projects may be physically located in or outside of and Enterprise Zone
- If located within a zone, the company commits that at least 25 percent of their new employees will meet economically disadvantaged or enterprise zone residence requirements.
- If located outside of a zone, the company commits that at least 35 percent of their new employees will meet economically disadvantaged or enterprise zone residency requirements.
- Under limited statutory provisions, and enterprise project designation may be granted for job retention
How to Apply
For a business to receive state tax incentives under the Texas Enterprise Zone Program, the local community must nominate it for enterprise project designation. Each local community has a limited number of projects allocated and the state has a maximum number of 105 that can be awarded per biennium.
The application must be filled out in part by the city or county and in part by the business. The city or county will submit the application on behalf of the business. The state accepts applications quarterly with deadlines on the first working day of March, June, September, and December.
Application: The Texas Enterprise Zone Program, Enterprise Project Application
Additional forms for the application process: Texas Wide Open for Business – Enterprise Zone Program
The Enterprise Zone Program is administered through the Office of the Governor, Economic Development Bank. For additional information on the Texas Enterprise Zone Program, call (512) 936-0100.