Economic Development

Dept icon 8.pngThe City of Helotes Economic Development Corporation (EDC) was created in 2003 after the citizens of Helotes voted for the imposition of a 1/2 cent 4B sales tax.  Link to State Comptroller Economic Development Corporation Report database.

The EDC and City's mission is to promote, encourage, and enhance the creation of jobs, the expansion of the local tax base, and our quality-of-life through projects that assist in the retention and expansion of existing employers and which attract new employers and aid in their development and growth.  We have built lasting relationships with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the UTSA Small Business Development Center, the National Association for the Self-Employed, the Helotes Area Merchant and Business Association, Helotes Chamber of Commerce, Alamo Workforce Solutions, and numerous other governmental units and entities.
In January 2017, the EDC and City Council approved the FYE 2017 Economic Development Work Plan.   The document is a living document created by the EDC to guide future decisions.  Each year, the City revisits this document to remind themselves of the EDC's vision, mission, and goals.  The Work Plan constitutes the Annual Plan of the EDC, mandated by Article IV, Section 4.1 of the EDC Bylaws.  A review of the previous year’s progress is completed, and updates and revisions may follow.
Incentive Opportunities within the City of Helotes:
OTH Tax Abatement Program Guidelines (No OTH Tax Abatements Approved To Date)
New construction or renovations;
Improvements greater than $10,000;   
50% municipal property tax abatement on qualifying expenditures;   
10 year maximum term; and   
City Council approval required before construction. 
Old Town Helotes Tax Abatement Ordinance - PDF    
GASB No. 77 Tax Abatement Disclosures
City-wide Tax Abatement Program (No Tax Abatements Approved To Date)
A tax abatement is an agreement between the City of Helotes and the property owner that exempts all or part of the increase in the ad valorem tax applicable to real property and/or tangible personal property from taxation for a period not to exceed 10 years.  Tax abatements are not automatic, and applications must be made to the City Council.  Tax Abatements are created by authority of the Tax Abatement Act, Texas Tax Code, Chapter 312. 
Chapter 380 Economic Development Agreements (8 Agreements Approved To Date)
380 Agreements allow cities to provide loans, grants, city personnel, and city services for the promotion and encouragement of economic development.  Often, these incentives are paid through increases in sales or property taxes generated by the project.  Chapter 380 Agreements are created by the authority under Section 380.001 of the Local Government Code.      
The City of Helotes and the Economic Development Corporation have entered into 380 Economic Development Agreements to encourage growth within the City. The Agreements involve the City and Economic Development Corporation reimbursing the project costs through refunding a portion of the sales and use taxes generated by the projects as well as increased property tax revenues, up to a maximum amount. The City and Economic Development Corporation are accruing estimated sales tax rebate as of September 30, 2015 based on the sales tax collections to date in anticipation of the developer’s request for payment. The terms of the agreements are as follows:

  • Helotes Town Center - Ordinance, Resolution (Expired; No Funds Reimbursed)
  • Bandera Helotes Plaza - Ordinance, Resolution (50% City Sales Tax / 50% EDC; $300,000 over 10 years; No Funds Reimbursed)
  • Shell Station / Anderson - Ordinance (No Funds Reimbursed)
  • Shops at Old Town Helotes - Ordinance, Resolution (50% City Sales Tax / 50% EDC; $2,000,000 over 15 years; No Funds Reimbursed)
  • Bricewood Subdivision 2015 - Ordinance (25% City Property Tax; $3,542,817 over 25 years; No Funds Reimbursed)
  • Texas Developers, LLC - Ordinance (75% Sales and Use Tax over 20 Years; No Funds Reimbursed)
  • Slim Chickens Restaurant - Ordinance (40% Sales and Use Tax; 40% Property Tax; $600,00 over 13 years; No Funds Reimbursed) 
  • Bricewood Subdivision 2018 - Ordinance (25% City Property Tax; $3,321,752 over 25 years; No Funds Reimbursed)    

Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones (No TIRZ Approved To Date)
Also referred to as tax increment financing (TIF), these special zones are created by the City Council to attract new investment to a specified area.  TIRZs help finance the cost of redevelopment and encourage development in an area that would otherwise not attract sufficient market development in a timely manner.  Taxes attributable to new improvements (tax increments) are set aside in a fund to finance public improvements within the boundaries of the zone.
Tax increment Reinvestment Zones are created by the authority of the Tax Increment Financing Act, Texas Tax Code, Chapter 311.        
Tax Increment Financing Presentation to EDC and City Council