It would appear that most of the discussions addressing what, if any, economic incentives that will be offered to any development applicant are always held in private. Of course, the lowly citizens.......you know, we of the proletariat, are always on the outside trying to look in. We have no idea what rules, if any, are being followed.
The incentive packages of The Villages and the restaurant deal are good examples. Now, I know the apartment deal is valued at about 10 times more than a built out restaurant deal. (the Villages at $30 million and the restaurant deal at about $3 million built out.) Good deals for Rowlett? What a deal for the Villages!! Rowlett's hardly in the picture. Read below.
The staff reports that the city is investing about $6 million in The Villages, when total investment and "give aways" are over $11 million. Depending on who you believe, the land given to the restaurant deal is $75K or $300K. However the apartment project will not pay taxes for 15 years.......then at that point we begin to recapture the $11 million of the city's investment. The staff report says estimated taxes they would pay per year (once they begin paying) is $225,000 per year. It would take 49 years from that point to collect the $11 million investment. When added to the 15 years that taxes weren't paid, it would be 64 years before Rowlett got their $11 million back. I haven't run the numbers on the restaurant, yet. However, I assume the math is better.
Now do you understand why I just short circuit when I feel that the city is thinking about more economic incentive for developers? It scares the c#@p out of me. I fully expect the city to take my house under imminent domain and give it to a barbershop. Rowlett's economic incentive program seems to be a total malfunction. It would be helpful to have some guidelines. Something other than something written on the back of an envelope in pencil.