The City of HARLINGEN and the State of TEXAS both offer GREAT incentives for expanding and relocating businesses.

Texas Enterprise Zone

Commercial Recruitment Program
The City of Harlingen, pursuant to the Texas Enterprise Zone Act, has designated an Enterprise Zone, which may provide the following incentives:

  • For areas of the Enterprise Zone which are outside city limits, non-annexation agreements for up to 7 years are available whereby the city ensures that the company site will not be annexed into City thus precluding any personal or real property taxes from being levied for that period. Payments in lieu of taxes may be made for City services such as fire and police protection, etc.
  • Company may be nominated by City for designation of an Enterprise Zone project which provides a rebate of state sales tax relative to sales tax paid and jobs created. Detailed information should be requested for nomination eligibility.
  • All applications for state and federal funds on behalf of company will be prioritized and expedited by City.
  • Streamlined Zoning and Permitting are provided within City Limits.
  • Ombudsman service to streamline compliance with City and County requirements will be provided.
  • Low interest financing may be made available through the Community Development Industrial Loan Program.
  • Promotion will be provided for businesses in the Zone by the Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce.
  • For areas of the Enterprise Zone which are outside city limits, in-city sewer and water rates may be negotiated.
  • Tax Abatement: Cameron County
    • Abatement of real property taxes is available for qualified enterprise zone businesses (5-year designation) in Cameron County for areas within the zone outside city limits.
    • To qualify for tax abatement, a business, whether a sole proprietor, a partnership, or a corporation, must meet the criteria as established in Cameron County Resolution.

Harlingen Freeport Exemption

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.

The Freeport exemption exempts certain types of tangible personal property (i.e., inventory) from ad valorem (property) taxation provided the property is:

  • Acquired in or imported into Texas to be forwarded out of state
  • Detained in Texas for assembling, storing, manufacturing, processing, or fabricating purposes by the person who acquired or imported it; and
  • Transported out of state within 175 days after the date the person acquired or imported it into Texas.

Because oil, natural gas, and other petroleum products are not considered Freeport goods, they are not eligible for the exemption and therefore remain taxable. Even when goods are sold to an in-state purchaser rather than shipped out of the state, they may qualify for the Freeport exemption; however, the property must qualify under the above requirements as Freeport property and must be transported out of the state within 175 days after it was first acquired in or imported into the state.

The City of Harlingen and the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District have eliminated the tax on interstate inventory and established a Freeport. The Freeport exempts tax inventory and materials-in-process manufactured locally and shipped out of Texas within 175 days.