Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones (TIRZs) are special areas of the city created pursuant to Chapter 311 of the Texas Tax Code by an act of City Council. A TIRZ creates and extends projects which, in turn, attracts development to these areas. The policy of the administration is to focus these projects on developing and building infrastructure to catalyze future economic development. The City of Houston currently has 24 active TIRZs. City Council approves all budgets and project plans of every TIRZ in the City of Houston.
No. Revenue generated within a TIRZ comes from existing tax revenue. The City sets the property tax base year at the same time the TIRZ is created. Tax revenue increases above this base year within the TIRZ is called “increment”. The increment is then reinvested into the area via approved projects in accordance within a project plan developed by the board of directors and approved by city council. No new taxes are created and increment generated within a community is reinvested within the TIRZ boundary through a community driven process.
Residents/neighborhoods/civic clubs will have a new source of funding, limited to their neighborhood, controlled by their neighbors to build infrastructure projects within the boundaries of the TIRZ. Those projects may be water and sewer infrastructure repair, street repair, park improvements, curb and sidewalk reconstruction, street lighting, traffic control, landscaping, parking structures, park and green space improvements, and more as allowable by Chapter 311 of the Tax Code.
Chapter 380 of the Local Government Code authorizes municipalities to offer incentives designed to promote economic development such as commercial and retail projects. Specifically, Chapter 380 allows municipalities to offer loans and grants of city funds or services to promote state and local economic development and to stimulate business and commercial activity.
All 380 agreements must be approved by City Council. It is the policy of the administration to use these agreements to reimburse the private sector for infrastructure investments approved by City Council. In some cases, City Council has utilized TIRZs to enter into 380 agreements.
It is the policy of the City of Houston that the geographic area of a TIRZ is represented by people who have an interest in the area. All board appointments must be approved by City Council.