WALLER COUNTY, TX (Covering Katy News) - Waller County has taken a big step forward in attracting foreign investment that will likely create more jobs and generate additional local property tax revenue. Waller County joined the Port of Houston, which means there will be a close working relationship between the local ports and Waller County’s economic development teams. The inter-local agreement allows Waller County leaders to offer incentives that will draw foreign investment to local communities.
"It allows companies who locate in Waller County to establish a foreign trade zone a lot faster," said Waller County Economic Development Partnership Executive Director Vince Yokom. But those companies will still be required to pay all local property taxes.
"It’s a federal program. It has nothing to do with local governments at all," Yokom added. "The savings for the foreign companies that participate are that they get favorable treatment on the tariffs on the products that they import and export during the manufacturing process," Yokom told Covering Katy News.
The Waller County Economic Development Partnership hopes it will create high paying manufacturing jobs through higher paying skilled labor manufacturing jobs.
The Port of Houston Commission approved the inter-local agreement with Waller County on April 28, 2020. When complete, Waller County will be the second county in the region to have this type of relationship with the Port of Houston.
“We are excited about this new relationship with the Port of Houston," said Waller County Judge Trey Duhon. "It will be an integral part of our ongoing economic development efforts to help us continue building a strong and diversified economic base.”
"We attract investment, and we continue to collect property taxes," said Yokom.
The deal is the culmination of a year's worth of work by teams led by Yokom and the Port of Houston's economic development group headed by Shane Williams.
“Waller County is a strong partner, and it’s through inter-local agreements such as this one that together we can support our common mission of creating jobs and economic prosperity for the region,” said Roger Guenther, Executive Director, Port of Houston.