Harris County offers incentives to “Go Green”

EAST HARRIS COUNTY — Harris County’s policy of offering Tax Abatements for those seeking assistance in building “green” took center stage last week at a conference that updated attendees on economic opportunities.

The conference, hosted jointly by Precinct Two Commissioner Sylvia R. Garcia, The Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership, the Baytown – West Chambers County EDF and the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region, also focused on the establishment of Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones (TIRZ).

“Having recently voted to allow Tax Abatements for developers who want to build to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, I wanted to ensure we get the word out to east Harris County that we can help offset the additional cost of doing the ‘right thing’ environmentally,” said Garcia.

Addressing membership and other invited guests from each of the co-hosts at the event held at San Jacinto College’s Pasadena campus, Harris County’s Director of Community Services David Turkel outlined the opportunities for a variety of partnerships with county government.

Turkel briefly explained how the LEED program offers a variety of levels based architectural and design elements. He also spoke about the costs associated with LEED design that may be offset with a ten-year Tax Abatement offered by the County.

The group also learned more about how and why the county participates in TIRZ programs. There are a total of 25 in Harris County as a whole – including those with municipality-only participation.

Harris County currently has active participation in nine TIRZ’s. Another four TIRZ’s have come to the conclusion of Harris County participation.