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Jo Clifton is the Politics Editor for the Austin Monitor.
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City has eight Chapter 380 agreements
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 by Jo Clifton
When the Austin Monitor reported Tuesday on Council Member Don Zimmerman’s proposal to cut Chapter 380 agreement payments by 50 percent, a city spokesperson said – and we reported – that there were seven such agreements currently in place. However, on Tuesday, an alert reader wanted to know why the Monitor did not list the Chapter 380 agreement between the city and the Domain shopping center. It turns out that the city has eight, not seven, such agreements. The Domain is just an odd duck. The Council approved the agreement in 2003 in a contract that calls for a 25 percent property tax rebate, and a sales tax rebate of 80 percent for the first five years and 50 percent during the sixth year through the 15th year of the agreement. Economic Development Department spokesperson Melissa Alvarado pointed out that the Domain agreement is project-based and involves retail. “We no longer do these” mixed-use, retail projects, she said. The total estimated rebate is $37,545,000, according to information on the city’s website. The city has budgeted $1,684,366 for its payment to the Domain for Fiscal Year 2015 and $1,820,524 for FY 2016. Joe Petronis, Zimmerman’s chief of staff, told the Monitor that the Domain payment was part of his calculation when figuring out how much the city could save by reducing Chapter 380 payments by 50 percent. The other seven companies participating currently in Chapter 380 agreements with the city are: Samsung, Apple, Visa, HID Global, Athenahealth, the Advisory Board Company and Hanger. Apple, Athenahealth and HID Global are not scheduled to receive any Chapter 380 payments this year. In FY 2016, however, HID Global is on track to receive $57,593. Zimmerman said his proposal would save taxpayers $6.8 million in the upcoming fiscal year. So far, Zimmerman’s colleagues have not responded to his proposal, which was posted on the City Council Message Board.
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