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Triple Freeport Community

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Weslaco has become a “triple freeport community,’’ a distinction the city’s economic development corporation announced it will move quickly to bring new jobs and industries to the local economy. Image Sources: Facebook, Weslaco.com and Wikipedia / Image for illustration purposes
Weslaco has become a “triple freeport community,’’ a distinction the city’s economic development corporation announced it will move quickly to bring new jobs and industries to the local economy. Image Sources: Facebook, Weslaco.com and Wikipedia / Image for illustration purposes

Texas Border Business

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Weslaco has become a “triple freeport community,’’ a distinction the city’s economic development corporation announced it will move quickly to bring new jobs and industries to the local economy.

The Weslaco Economic Development Corporation praised the Weslaco Independent School District Board of Trustees and school Interim Superintendent Dr. Cris Valdez for its approval of the Freeport Goods in Transit Exemption during a regularly scheduled meeting, January 18, 2022. It adds to the previous approvals of the same measure by City of Weslaco and County of Hidalgo, providing the passage by all three taxing entities needed to make the triple freeport status possible.

“Great schools help recruit great companies,” says Steven Valdez, Executive Director, EDC of Weslaco, “and the actions taken by our school board trustees is evident that our community fosters business minded leaders.”

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The freeport exemption measure was approved by Texas voters in 1989 and is intended to make communities in the state more competitive in recruiting manufacturing and other industries. It allows for a business tax exemption on goods, wares,inventory, and merchandise if such products leave Texas within 175 days for out-of-state destinations.

For Weslaco, being a freeport community adds a major boost in continuing to bring additional manufacturing, warehousing,and distribution companies to the city. Weslaco has seen considerable growth in the areas of residential, commercial and industrial sectors as more companies utilize its central location in serving the Rio Grande Valley and using it as a springboardto reach destinations in the United States and Mexico.

EDC Board Vice President, Juan “JJ” Serrano, who presented freeport exemption facts to the WISD board in November, 2021, says that the timing for the board’s decision couldn’t be better. “We are about to break ground for Weslaco’s second industrialpark,” says Serrano, “and the (WISD) board’s unanimous vote and support means that as we recruit new businesses, newfamilies will follow with more children attending our Weslaco schools.”

The EDC plans to quickly move on the freeport designation in working to finalize an agreement to bring a major newindustrial company to Weslaco. Johnson Controls has publicly announced its strong interest in bringing a new warehouse and distribution center to Weslaco. Johnson Controls has 2,000 locations globally and is seeking to consolidate its South Texas facilities into a single plant in Weslaco. The company had hinged a move to Weslaco on the school district’s gaining thefreeport exemption status.

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With that in hand, the EDC hopes to bring Johnson Controls to Weslaco with its over 100 new jobs while pursuing othercompanies and industries.

Contact Steven Valdez of the Weslaco EDC at 956-969-0838 for more information about the freeport exemption and theopportunities it will bring for the city.

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