Purpose of incentive
Based on Chapter 312 of the Texas Local Government Code, the City of Fort Worth may award development projects a Tax Abatement based on the value that the development adds to the property.
However, there are certain guidelines that developers must meet in order to be eligible for either a Tax Abatement or a Chapter 380 grant.
Download the General Tax Abatement policy (Updated Jan. 2021)(PDF, 2MB)
While all eligible applications will be considered, the City of Fort Worth is especially interested in supporting projects that produce a meaningful impact on the City and its economy and result in one of more of the following:
- Growth of business activity, employment, or investment in one of Fort Worth's target industries. These target industries include:
- Established target industries, like transportation and warehousing, manufacturing, healthcare, oil and gas, or tourism.
- Emerging sectors, such as transportation innovation, life sciences, geotechnical engineering, or aerospace manufacturing and design.
- International businesses, corporate and regional headquarters, and other professional and financial services.
- Significant investment, including the creation of high-wage jobs and a willingness to be part of strategic revitalization efforts in key areas of Fort Worth.
- Retaining/expanding one of Fort Worth's existing major employers, or anchoring a business expansion project in a way that provides potential for more supply chain activity and additional growth.
Tax Abatements can only be granted to people or organizations that either own taxable real property in a tax abatement reinvestment zone, or own a leasehold interest in real property in a tax abatement reinvestment zone. A person or entity seeking Tax Abatement on property owned or leased in a Neighborhood Empowerment Zone (NEZs) should refer to the Neighborhood Empowerment Zone Tax Abatement Policy for more information.
Tax abatements may apply to property located in one of the city's Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones (TIFs) or one of the state's enterprise zones. If a Tax Abatement is sought for property leased from a third party, the City of Fort Worth can only abate taxes on certain elements of this property, and should consult with professional legal guidance before moving forward.
Projects will only be considered as "located in a new building" if they have not obtained a building permit on or before the date of their Tax Abatement or Chapter 380 grant application.
Additional eligibility requirements for specific project categories may also apply.
Both Tax Abatements and Chapter 380 grants require recipients to commit to using certified M/WBE companies for a minimum of 15% of all construction costs (both hard and soft), and all mixed-use development projects that contain rental residential units must commit to providing affordable housing.
How to apply
If you're interested in pursuing a Tax Abatement for your project, contact the City of Fort Worth Economic Development team at 817-392-6021 to get started. Staff will determine whether your project would be the best fit for a tax abatement or a grant, and will walk you through the next steps.
- Applicants must complete an application, with the required attachments. These attachments should include:
- Documentation that there are no delinquent property taxes due for the property where the development will occur.
- A detailed description and estimated cost of renovations, if the project includes the renovation of a building or other structure.
- Applicants must pay the $5,000 application fee. As long as substantial construction has begun on the project within one year following the date of the application's submission, $3,000 of the application fee will be credited to any permit, impact, inspection, or other fee required by the City of Fort Worth in connection to the project. If any of these application funds remain once the project has been completed, a refund may be provided if it is requested within 90 days of the project's completion date.
- The Economic Development Department will review and evaluate the project, focusing on criteria such as the types and number of jobs created (including salaries, health insurance and other benefits), the percent of construction contracts committed to Fort Worth companies and certified M/WBE companies, the financial viability of the project, its reasonably-projected increase in the value of the tax base, its costs to the City, its environmental impact on the property, the type of industry and activities associated at the project site, and more.
Additionally, the Fort Worth City Council retains sole authority to approve or deny any Tax Abatement Agreement or Economic Development Program Agreement, and is under no obligation to approve any application or agreement. Each program agreement will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis, and the amount awarded may be less than the maximum available term specified.
Terms and parameters
The City of Fort Worth will generally consider the following lengths of time for Tax Abatement and Chapter 380 grant terms for most projects:
- 3-5 years for projects that have less than $50 million invested, or less than 250 jobs created.
- 5-7 years for projects that have less than $50 million invested, or more than 250 jobs created.
- 7-9 years for projects that have $75 million or more invested, or more than 350 jobs created.
- 10 years for projects that have $100 million or more invested, or more than 500 jobs created.