In 1998, the voters of Wichita Falls approved a ¼ cent economic development sales tax. The City generates approximately $4 million annually and this revenue can be used to attract new or assist expanding local businesses which meet certain state-mandated requirements. The amount of funds a company may receive is based on the number of new jobs being created, the wages of the new jobs being created, and the investment created, usually between $500 for a minimum wage position up to $15,000 or more for executive level positions. Since 1998, the WFEDC has approved $69 million for 81 projects. Funds may be used individually or collectively in the three ways stated below:
Cash for Jobs – Create a new job in Wichita Falls and retain that job for at least six months, and the WFEDC will write your company a check. Each new position must be filled by one or more employees for a total period of not less than six months before your company may petition the WFEDC for payment. If your Company elects to use incentives outlined in b. and c. below, the amount paid per employee would be proportionately less.
Forgivable Loan – For creditworthy, well-established companies, the WFEDC can provide forgivable loans for companies who create and then maintain new positions. Typically, the WFEDC has financed machinery and equipment contingent on acquiring a first lien position or purchase money security interest on said equipment. The term of the loan is based on the depreciable life of the equipment being financed. For each and every year the “Client” creates and then maintains the number of new positions as mutually agreed, the debt service for that particular year is forgiven. Should the “Client” fail to maintain the number of new positions as mutually agreed, the company would pay back a portion of the loan. A financial review of the company would be a prerequisite to be considered for this incentive.
Training – The WFEDC can provide funding to assist with employee training. The amount per position would be negotiated based on the training needs. “Company” usually pays for the training and then petitions the WFEDC for reimbursement. “Company” would be required to provide supporting documentation on said training prior to being reimbursed by the WFEDC.
The three potential incentives above are contingent upon a recommendation from the Wichita Falls Economic Development Corporation (WFEDC) to the Wichita Falls City Council and subsequent approval by the City Council. If approved by the WFEDC and City Council, a Performance Agreement would be prepared to state all terms and conditions for the three incentives above.