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What is a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ)?

A Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) is a special district created by a local government in Texas to stimulate economic development and revitalization within a specific geographic area. Governed by Chapter 311 of the Texas Tax Code, here's an overview of what a TIRZ is and how it functions:

Purpose and Function

  • Economic Development:

TIRZs are established to encourage investment and redevelopment in underdeveloped or blighted areas. The goal is to attract private investment, create jobs, and improve public infrastructure.

  • Tax Increment Financing (TIF):

A TIRZ uses a financing method called Tax Increment Financing. When a TIRZ is created, the base value of property within the zone is determined. As property values increase due to new development, the additional tax revenue generated by the increase (the "increment") is used to finance improvements and development projects within the zone. When a TIRZ is terminated, all of the tax revenue is available to the local government. 

View of Dallas skyline
Dallas is the 3rd largest user of TIRZs
  • How a TIRZ Works

  • Creation:

  • A TIRZ can be created by a city, county, or other local government entity. The process typically involves:

  • Identifying an area in need of redevelopment.

  • Developing a project plan that outlines the improvements and anticipated costs.

  • Holding public hearings and obtaining approval from the governing body.

  • Financing:

  • Once a TIRZ is established, the increased property tax revenue generated by the rise in property values within the zone is captured. This increment is used to fund public improvements like streets, parks, water and sewer facilities, and other infrastructure projects that benefit the zone.

  • Duration:

  • TIRZs typically have a set duration, often between 20 to 30 years, after which they expire. The length of time is determined during the creation of the TIRZ and is based on the time needed to complete the planned improvements and achieve the desired economic impact.

  • Examples of TIRZ Projects

  • Downtown Revitalization:

  • Many cities use TIRZs to revitalize their downtown areas, funding projects like streetscaping, building renovations, and public transportation improvements.

  • Mixed-Use Developments:

  • TIRZs can support the development of mixed-use projects that combine residential, commercial, and retail spaces, creating vibrant, multi-functional neighborhoods.

  • Affordable Housing:

  • Some TIRZs focus on increasing the availability of affordable housing by funding the construction or renovation of housing units within the zone.

TIRZs are a powerful tool for local governments to stimulate economic development, attract private investment, and improve public infrastructure in targeted areas. According to public data, there were more than 700 TIRZs in Texas. San Antonio had the most TIRZs (92), followed closely by Fort Worth (55), Dallas (53), and Celina. By leveraging the increase in property tax revenue generated by new developments, TIRZs help transform blighted or underutilized areas into thriving, economically vibrant communities.

For more detailed information, you can refer to resources such as the Texas Comptroller's office (, or you can contact us to see how TIRZs are used in your area.


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