Special to The Dallas Examiner
The Dallas City Council approved an amended City of Dallas Economic Development Policy and approved a new Economic Development Incentive Policy to proactively address economic inequalities and outcomes in historically underserved communities through policy, public investment and partnership during its Jan. 25 meeting.
“This Economic Policy has been years in the making, but today we finally have our north star,” said Councilmember Tennell Atkins, chairman of the City’s Economic Development Committee. “This Economic Development Policy is an overarching, strategic plan that is right in line with the city’s Racial Equity Plan and gives us specific goals and practices to address the economic disparities that have plagued southern Dallas for far too long.”
The initial Economic Development Plan was adopted back in May 2021. In collaboration with the Economic Development Task Force, led by former Councilmember Jennifer Gates, policy revisions were made over the past year and half.
“This updated policy includes amendments that bring clarity, alignment and accountability to the mission, goals and programs established in the original policy,” Gates said.
The new Incentive Policy is a key deliverable from the initial Economic Development Policy. It directs certain programs and incentives toward designated target areas that align with the state’s designated Enterprise Zones, which are census block groups designated as distressed areas.
“The Incentive Policy keeps all the existing tools that have made Dallas competitive and adds new tools that institutionalize a living wage, streamlines the process for smaller developers, creates a new fund to address infrastructure challenges, and prioritizes investment in certain target areas,” Assistant City Manager Majed Al-Ghafry said.
The new Incentive Policy include the following tools:
- As-of-right Tax Abatements – activates real estate development and job creation in traditionally underserved areas by offering a simplified process.
- Community Development Loans and Grants – improves living and economic conditions of persons of low and moderate income through loans and grants for qualified projects that serve a community development purpose, including projects with nonprofit developers.
- Predevelopment Loans – supports community developers and qualified women and/or minority developers by providing loans for eligible project predevelopment costs.
- Infrastructure Investment Fund – assists in closing the infrastructure gap by directing infrastructure funding to areas most in need and is capitalized by ongoing collection of windfall funds from expiring TIF districts.
“This amended Economic Development Policy will allow us to work collaboratively with the task force to address limitations, while we generate new revenue, create new jobs and drive more equitable and competitive outcomes for our city,” said City Manager T.C. Broadnax.
Both policies take effect immediately. For more information visit https://dallasecodev.org.