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Denton County clears way for Holt

Profile image for By Bj Lewis / Staff Writer
By Bj Lewis / Staff Writer

Commissioners vote 4-1 on tax abatement deal

Holt Caterpillar is on its way to Denton County.

Denton County Commissioners voted 4-1 to approve a tax abatement proposal of 50 percent for five years from representatives of the company, clearing the way for work to begin on the Little Elm site.

“I think it’s great Holt Cat is coming to our community. It will provide much-needed jobs and economic development,” Commissioner Hugh Coleman said. “While we subsidize a tremendous amount of residential development through the use of special districts, we need to concentrate our efforts more on bringing jobs to Denton County.”

The site will be at the southeast corner of FM1385 and U.S. Highway 380. The initial phase of the project will use about 25 acres of the 42-acre property.

A new 50,000-square-foot dealership and associated support buildings will be constructed along with site improvements made to the property, including signal improvements, a deceleration lane on U.S. Highway 380, wastewater extension, water extension and sidewalk improvements.

Holt Caterpillar officials told commissioners last month the site would add an initial capital investment of $11.5 million and bring in anticipated taxable annual sales of $28 million.

Holt Caterpillar is the authorized Caterpillar dealer for 118 counties across the state.

The company sells, services and rents Caterpillar equipment, engines and generators for construction, mining, industrial, petroleum and agricultural applications.

County Judge Mary Horn cast the dissenting vote, choosing to stick by her stance against tax abatements for businesses coming to Denton County. She said companies benefit enough from the county’s low tax rate.

“The city has the benefit of increased sales tax, but the county does not,” Horn said. “I’d rather protect John Q. Citizen homeowner with lower tax rates.”

Commissioner Andy Eads said this deal is like many incentive programs done by the county, noting the Target distribution center, the Aldi distribution center and the Nebraska Furniture Mart deal in The Colony. Eads said Denton County is in a location to be competitive against other area counties where businesses are looking to relocate.

“It will diversify the types of jobs we have in the county. Not only is [Holt Caterpillar] doing equipment sales, but refurbishment, and we don’t have a lot of that in the county right now,” Eads said. “It will help diversify our tax base and give us balanced employment opportunities. Denton County has a long tradition of doing this, so this is nothing new.”

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.