"County approves tax reinvestment zone for Lodestar project" by: Mike Reddell

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
Matagorda County Commissioners Court approved a resolution supporting the mission of Gulf Coast CASA and the Houston Serenity Place Child Placement Agency in finding local foster home for Matagorda County children.

   A reinvestment zone was unanimously approved for Lodestar – a first step in the tax abatement process - by commissioners court in its regular meeting Monday, Sept. 30.
   Lodestar proposes a $32 million South Texas Rail Terminal on 227 acres near El Maton that will transfer Gulf Coast oil and gas products from pipelines to rail cars and from the cars to the pipelines.
   Lodestar seeks an abatement of five years – 85 percent in the first two years, and 75%, 50%, and 25%, respectively over the last three years.
   Part of doing business in Matagorda County is paying taxes and to have “money coming in the county,” Palacios resident Bonnie Benson said at the court’s public hearing on the Lodestar reinvestment zone.
   “This isn’t right,” Benson said, opposing the abatement. “This doesn’t make sense.” 
   “We would ask the court to look favorably” on the abatement, said Mike Ferdinand, executive director of the Matagorda County Economic Development Corporation.
   Lodestar will bring “quality jobs. If the company does not come, no tax dollars will come,” Ferdinand said.
   Bay City Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture President Mitch Thames said Lodestar’s abatement request is “extremely reasonable.”
   Granting tax abatements is the same successful development process that Brazoria and Ft. Bend counties have followed, Thames said. 

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