If you would revisit some blog posts in May, say May 26 thru May 31, there is considerable discussion of 380 Grants. There is also some 380 Grant discussion continuing into June. It's good review.
Frankly, I am kinda upset because Rowlett "officialdom" doesn't explain how 380 Grants work. They would be better informed than I.......and certainly more official. Altho, I did get my initial information from the State Comptroller's Office.
The mayor has made recent comments regarding the misinformation circulating around......specifically regarding the Blacklands Corridor. I have a novel idea. Why don't we review the issue of misinformation out of city hall?
Below is an answer I sent to an inquiring mind.
I don't know the particulars of the 380 Grants. However, I did call the Texas Comptroller's office and talked to a very helpful person in that department.
Essentially, he told me that 380 Grants were grants devised to help with financial aid and incentives for developers wishing to start development in a city. The city earmarks certain funds that come in during the regular course of collecting taxes. These funds are then set aside for their special purpose. More recently, those funds would be allocated to return the purchase price of the land for the restaurants to the developer.
To simplify matters, the city sets aside regular tax money to return to the developers in the form of 380 Grants. It's my understanding that this is not special tax money. It comes right out of the general fund. What particularly irritates me is the fact that Rowlett staff writes these staff reports, knowing full well the citizens may read them, and still they do not explain where 380 Grants come from. I think it is blatantly misleading and manipulative to refer to 380 Grants without explanation, thus leading a casual observer into thinking this must be Texas or USA money. It isn't. It's your local money.
When the Staff Report says the developer is "purchasing" the land, it is horribly misleading. The city is giving the developer the money (380 Grants) to buy the land. What angers me about City Council is that they know this is going on. They quietly endorse this behavior to keep the citizens off their back. They know there is less "blowback" if the citizens are ignorant of the fact that their money went into building a pastry restaurant instead of repairing a street. The payback from a pastry restaurant would take many, many years to recover with sales taxes.
I'm not convinced a pastry restaurant will even work in downtown Rowlett. Council just wants something to be built in downtown so that they can brag about the good work they're doing. They totally "blew" the vetting of the restaurant land give away.
This type of misleading behavior just angers me "a whole bunch."