VISD administration building

If a solar power company builds in the Victoria school district, the district could benefit from its economic impact.

The school board is expected to consider a proposal from Sunshine Energy at its monthly meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Victoria ISD administration building, 102 Profit Drive.

The renewable energy company wants to apply for a tax limitation through Chapter 313 or the Texas Economic Development Act.

If this is approved and the company moves to Victoria, it will increase the district’s tax base, possibly bringing more students and create jobs, explained Shawna Currie, spokeswoman for the school district.

The chapter allows an appraised value limitation. It is an agreement when a taxpayer — which is Sunshine Energy in this instance — agrees to build or install property and create jobs in a district, according to the Texas Comptroller website.

In exchange, the taxpayer would receive a 10-year limitation on the taxable property values for a school district’s maintenance and operations tax. The limitation value varies by school district, according to the Texas Comptroller.

Sunshine Energy falls under the control of Caprock Renewables in Austin.

If approved, the company will file for Chapter 313 through the Comptroller and pay the application fee, Currie said. The Comptroller will then decide if the company and district are eligible and if they can move forward in the process.

“The Comptroller will recommend an agreement if it’s in the best interest of the district,” Currie explained.

The Comptroller’s office will look at the economic impact the company would have in the area and the amount of jobs it would create, Currie said.

The Texas Comptroller will have 91 days to make a recommendation and the district will then have 151 days to act.

Currie said this agreement would not influence residents’ tax rates. The Texas Economic Development Act allows companies to move and invest into a community.

Samantha Douty is the education reporter at the Victoria Advocate. She grew up in Corpus Christi and graduated from UT-Arlington with a bachelor's in journalism.

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