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River project inches forward; City commission OKs ‘conditional’ tax financing zone

BY STEVE CLARK STAFF WRITERMay 23, 2019

The Brownsville City Commission last month conditionally approved a Tax Incremental Reinvestment Zone for a massive proposed riverfront redevelopment project known as Rio Grande Esplanade.

The commission at its April 16 regular meeting acted based on a recommendation from TIRZ consultant Travis James, vice president of TXP Inc., to “conditionally support creating a Rio Grande Esplanade TIRZ pending additional information and analysis.”

A TIRZ is a way cities can attract investment to areas that may otherwise be overlooked, with a portion of tax revenue generated by commercial activity within the TIRZ going to reimburse the developer for the cost of public improvements through a mechanism called Tax Increment Financing.

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