By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
The Cameron County Commissioners Court was set to meet Thursday to discuss, among other items, tax abatements for Annova LNG, repairs to the restroom facilities and pavilion at Beach Access #5, and bids on contracts for the routine maintenance of the Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway lightning system.
County Administrator David Garcia said that of the five Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) companies currently seeking to build facilities along the Brownsville Ship Channel, only Annova LNG has begun to reach out to discuss possible tax abatements. “We’re still in negotiations,” Garcia said. “Like any other company that is looking to come to our area that is seeking incentives, they made a request to the County for a tax abatement. The County is considering that at this point,” he said. Garcia also said this is the second time the Court sits in executive session to discuss possible tax abatements for Annova LNG.
“It’s not going to be an agreement that takes us away from any other type of arrangements,” Garcia said, speaking to concerns raised by opponents of the LNG facilities that such tax abatements would somehow be different than incentives offered to other companies.
Garcia added that tax abatement negotiations typically include applying performance provisions on a company that the County will expect to be met, including the number of jobs a company will create. “Primarily it’s jobs during construction, and jobs long term. We want to see that we have a benefit on both sides. … Those kinds of things are factored in, as well,” he said.
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