The city, much earlier than expected, has fulfilled a sales tax rebate agreement forged seven years ago to lure the Tanger Outlets shopping center to the mainland community, officials said.

Terms of the agreement between the city and The Simon Group, signed in 2011, called for the city to return $8.5 million in sales tax to the 350,000-square-foot outlet mall from the city’s Economic Development Corp. in exchange for the mall being built in Texas City. The rebate was meant to defray the cost of building infrastructure to support the shopping center.

Originally expected to last about 10 years, the payments were complete four years ahead of schedule, largely because of strong sales at the shopping center, Texas City Mayor Matt Doyle said.

Luring Tanger Outlets, 5885 Interstate 45, was considered a commercial coup. Texas City was competing with other communities within and outside the county to secure a destination outlet mall that was meant to lure shoppers from around the region.

“This is one of our first agreements we did to help develop the west side of the city,” he said. “To finish what they thought was going to be, at a stretch, a 10-year agreement in a little over six, it’s our beyond wildest dreams.”

When it was hammered out, the agreement was the first of its kind for Texas City, Doyle said. Since 2011, the city has struck similar deals including with H-E-B, which built a newer store to replace an aging one, and with owners of shopping center Palmer Plaza, which is being redeveloped.

Tanger Outlets Texas City opened in October of 2012 featuring more than 80 brandname and designer retailers.

Now that the Texas City Economic Development Corp. has finished paying back the sales tax, the city can put the extra money toward new projects, Doyle said.

“That money was coming out of EDCO, so it’ll go back in to fuel our economic development engine,” he said. “We’ve always got something going on.”

The city will present the final sales tax rebate payment to representatives from The Simon Group and Tanger Outlets during its regularly scheduled commission meeting Wednesday.

Aaron West: 409-683-5246; aaron.west@galvnews.com


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