Cameron County’s incentive package proposal for SpaceX has begun to take shape after officials on Thursday approved agreements concerning the company’s plans to construct a launch pad on Boca Chica Beach.
The Cameron County Commissioners’ Court agreed to waive 10 years of county taxes owed by SpaceX, or Space Exploration Technologies Corp., if the company brings its launch operations to South Texas. Commissioners also approved a draft of an economic agreement with SpaceX that states the responsibilities of each entity involved, including the Cameron County Spaceport Development Corp.
The Spaceport Board of Directors met Thursday afternoon to discuss the agreement and authorize Board Chairman Nick Serafy Jr. to sign it on behalf of the board. County Judge Carlos H. Cascos said the county’s legal counsel decided that the agreement, which was approved in open session, should not be made public until it is signed by SpaceX. Cascos said he anticipates that the agreement should be finished and available to the public within the next week.
“Until both parties sign off, we don’t have an agreement,” Cascos said. “It took some work, but it’s done,” County Judge Carlos Cascos said following the Commissioners Court approval of the package. A tax abatement agreement has a value of approximately $1.2 million to $1.4 million over a 10-year period. Also approved was a development agreement on several issues regarding security, reimbursable costs for security and safety zones. “We approved both agreements and we have asked attorneys to draft the final agreements, and get them ready for my signature and SpaceX’s signature,” the county judge said. These recent developments are a sign that a groundbreaking ceremony is not far from the horizon.