Commissioners court may OK 'guidelines' for potential tax abatement

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
Brown County Courthouse

Brown County Commissioners Court members will vote on adopting “guidelines and criteria” Monday for a possible tax abatement for a solar farm project near Brookesmith.

Commissioners will not take action on an actual abatement when they meet at 9 a.m.  Monday, Feb. 8, 2020. The court will consider adopting the guidelines after a public hearing, the meeting agenda states.

“We’re just adopting criteria to allow us to be able to progress further and take the next step,” commissioner Gary Worley said. “We’re not adopting a tax abatement or anything like that — just the criteria.”

The commissioners court heard a presentation Dec. 7 from  Dale Cummings and Christian Fiene of Intersect Power. The California company is proposing a 3,000-acre solar power project near Brookesmith.  

Cummings and Fiene asked commissioners court members to consider beginning the process of approving a tax abatement. Commissioners court members took no action at the Dec. 7 meeting. 

On Dec. 14, the court voted 4-1 to retain a consultant to assist the county in the debate over granting a tax abatement for posed solar power farm. Brown County Judge Paul Lilly voted against hiring the consultant, saying he does not support a tax abatement for the company. 

In January 2020, the Brookesmith school board approved creating a radian reinvestment zone and approved a tax abatement.