Cameron County Commissioners’ Court Unanimously Approves Freeport Tax Exemption

Cameron County Commissioners’ Court unanimously voted Tuesday to approve an exemption of its Freeport tax on warehouse inventory.

The exemption is effective January 2018 and is aimed at boosting economic development in the County. The County now joins most cities and school districts in Cameron County in allowing an exemption of taxes on goods that have been acquired in or imported into Texas to be forwarded out of the state within 175 days.

In 1989, Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment giving local taxing jurisdictions the option to exercise or not exercise their authority to tax specific personal property known as freeport goods.
“Cameron County has opted to not exercise its authority to impose the freeport tax,” Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino, Jr., said. “In doing so, we have created an economic development tool.”

In Harlingen alone, about $107 million in warehoused inventory would qualify for the tax exemption resulting in a savings for companies up to $417,000 annually. Brownsville companies qualifying for freeport goods tax exemptions have almost $250 million in inventory. This could represent up to $975,000 in savings for Brownsville-based industries. San Benito and Los Indios based companies could qualify for up to $500,000 in savings based on their 2016 inventory levels.

“In the past, we’ve seen companies located in “triple-freeport” communities expand their operations and hire more people because of the savings in taxes,” Trevino said. “We have also seen how these communities are much more competitive in attracting new investment and we are confident that this will happen in Cameron County. This exemption, coupled with a low tax rate among Texas counties, places Cameron County at a very competitive advantage in attracting industry.”

For additional information, please feel to contact Eddie Trevino, Jr., County Judge at 956.544.0830 or etrevino@co.cameron.tx.us.