City looking for ways to help county offset freeport tax

HARLINGEN — City officials are searching for ways to help Cameron County offset $1.6 million in revenues generated by a tax they want lifted.

Last night, city commissioners delayed action on the approval of a resolution supporting the county’s lifting of the freeport tax imposed on warehoused inventory held for 175 days or less.

City officials argue lifting the tax would help warehousing and manufacturing companies use their money to expand operations and create more jobs instead of paying taxes.

Meanwhile, county officials are reviewing the impact of losing $1.6 million in tax revenue.

Now, city officials want to try to offset the county’s loss of revenue.

“We trying to get information on the benefits (of a tax exemption) and how to work with Cameron County to try to offset those differences,” City Manager Dan Serna said after the meeting.

The city and Harlingen school district already have adopted the freeport tax exemption.

In Harlingen, about $100 million in warehoused inventory would be eligible for exemption.

Lifting the tax would help warehousing companies save $300,000 to $400,000 a year, Raudel Garza, chief executive officer of the Harlingen Economic Development Corporation, said in an earlier interview.

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