City of Houston approves clear guidelines for reinvestment zones

September 15, 2023

The Houston City Council recently passed new guidelines for Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones (TIRZ) creation, termination, and timelines.  

The new guidelines include several boundaries:  

  • Projected 50% increase in property values from development during the initial term.  
  • Zones limited to 30 years.  
  • Zones can be terminated if goals are achieved or if the TIRZ is underperforming after 15 years.  

The city will evaluate the performance of these zones.  

The new policy was delayed several times to give additional time for a detailed review. According to several community organizations, they felt they had limited notice of meetings and not enough time to seek public input.  

The TIRZ program was created in 1990 with 28 zones across Houston. Within the zones, property taxes can be used to fund projects such as sidewalks, parks and flood and drainage infrastructure. Fund distribution is managed by a local board of directors. Previously, the TIRZ program did not have established guidelines. 

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