County talks PI, Island TIRZs

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

A week after meeting with Cameron County Commissioner Sofia Benavides, officials from the City of South Padre Island once again stood before the County Commissioners’ Court to deliver a presentation on the City’s Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ).

The City was taken to task two weeks ago when members of the Court questioned the City’s plan to make substantial changes to the TIRZ, which was originally created in 2010. Initially, the TIRZ was expected to generate half a billion dollars in revenue, however, that estimate has subsequently been reduced to approximately $198 million. As a result, previous plans for expanding the South Padre Island Convention Centre, as well as the development of a high rise, were ultimately scrapped.

Instead, the City has focused on renovating the Convention Centre and making improvements to the infrastructure of Padre Boulevard. The City also sought to double the size of the TIRZ in the hopes of generating more revenue.

With the City’s plans for the TIRZ seemingly out of alignment with those of the County, the Court urged City officials to meet with the County’s legal department, as well as Commissioner Benavides, who was appointed as the County’s representative to the TIRZ.

The City heeded the Court’s advice, meeting with Benavides last Monday just before a special meeting of the City Council in order to iron out the wrinkles in the new proposals for the TIRZ’s size, finances and projects.

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