If the City of Fort Worth has its way, a local transportation company will be staying put.
The Fort Worth City Council heard details of a proposed tax abatement agreement with Raider Express, a transportation company headquartered in Fort Worth, at its Jan. 23 work session. The company is looking to build a 61,000-square-foot office, training and maintenance facility near U.S. Highway 287 and Willow Springs Road.
“Their expansion represents significant investment into innovative technology, such as autonomous vehicles, and people, both via their training school and well-paying jobs,” said Brenda Hicks-Sorensen, Fort Worth assistant economic development director. “Well-paying jobs and transportation innovation are two areas of emphasis in the recently released Economic Development Strategic Plan, and we are pleased to see an area company making such a significant commitment.”
A public hearing on the abatement will be held on Jan. 30, and the item is expected to be placed on the council’s Feb. 6 meeting agenda.
Hicks-Sorensen said the company has a facility in Hastings, Nebraska, and is considering a location in York, Nebraska, as well as others along the Interstate 35 corridor.
If approved, the city would grant a 50 percent tax abatement on the incremental increase in value of real and personal property improvements for five years if Raider Express meets certain requirements.
The company must make at least $13 million in real property investments by Dec. 31, 2019. It must also locate new taxable business personal property on the project site having a minimum taxable appraised value specified by these appraisal dates: At least $56.1 million by Jan. 1, 2021; At least $96 million by Jan. 1, 2023; and at least $136.1 million by Jan. 1, 2025.
The company must spend the greater of 25 percent or $3.05 million of all hard construction costs for the development with Fort Worth contractors. It must also spend the greater of 15 percent or $1.83 million of all hard construction costs with contractors that are Fort Worth Certified Minority/Women Owned Business Enterprise companies. Money spent with the M/WBE companies will count as money spent with Fort Worth companies.
“We’ve done tax abatements to attract companies, but this is an existing company wanting to expand,” District 7 Councilman Dennis Shingleton said. “Raider Express does a good job and we’re going to be the better for it.”
To receive the tax break, Raider Express must provide on the project site at least 442 full-time jobs in 2020 and 2021, at least 532 full-time jobs in 2022 and 2023, and at least 622 full-time jobs in 2024.
It must fill a minimum of 30 percent of all full-time jobs with Fort Worth residents and 15 percent of all full-time jobs with Fort Worth central city residents.
It must spend the greater of 35 percent or $1.225 million in annual discretionary service and supply expenses with Fort Worth companies, and the greater of 15 percent or $525,000 with companies that are Fort Worth Certified MWBE-owned companies.