Victoria commissioners lay groundwork for Invista tax abatement
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The groundwork is in place for Victoria County to offer Invista tax incentives for a $500 million investment.
Victoria County Commissioners voted Monday to establish the 4,500-acre Invista campus as a reinvestment zone, which makes the site eligible for a tax abatement.
Given the estimated scope of the project, Dale Fowler, president of Victoria Economic Development Corp., said the company could receive the maximum tax abatement - an eight-year exemption on the investment starting at 90 percent and ending at 45 percent.
The county will still receive taxes during the construction phase, Fowler said. "This solidifies their current investment. ... There's less chance it would go away. You want your site to be the one they're investing in."
He said the economic development corporation still does not know the final value of the investment. Soft costs, which include the project's engineering, are included in the $500 million total expansion estimate.
In September, the company announced plans to build a combined hydrogen and anhydrous ammonia manufacturing unit at its existing site.
County Judge Don Pozzi said he is pleased the issue is moving forward.
"It's no secret that they have announced an expansion of at least $500 million," Pozzi said. "We're excited from an economic development prospect."
If approved, construction would take an estimated 20 months, with the groundbreaking in 2015. Production is estimated to start up two years later.
The expansion would create 15 to 25 permanent full-time jobs and more than 400 construction jobs during the project's peak.
Robert Jaklich, superintendent of the Victoria school district, attended Monday's meeting in support of the reinvestment zone.
The proposed unit would produce hydrogen for making ammonia, replacing Invista's current manufacturing methods with something more efficient. It also allows the plant to create steam more efficiently than it does now and make its own ammonia at a lower cost than it takes to purchase it.
"It shows they have enjoyed their years in Victoria ... and see the future of the county," Pozzi said.