Kyle eyes updates to tax rebate program

Updates to an existing Kyle program aimed at assisting first year businesses could further expand its reach.

Kyle’s First Year on Us (FYOU), an incentive program that rebates up to $10,000 in property taxes for a first year small business, could be open to business owners who have already started construction on a new business in town.

Kyle City Council member Daphne Tenorio proposed the update, which could be discussed by city leaders at a later date.

Kyle Mayor Travis Mitchell drafted the FYOU program which had its first applicants in 2019. The program has been in place since 2017, but no businesses had applied.

FYOU currently provides rebates to small business owners who build within the city and apply before beginning construction.

However, those who want to apply after already finishing construction on their business missed their chance to benefit.

“I don’t think the grant really offers that much of an incentive to come to Kyle as is,” Tenorio said. “Most business owners that hear about it are already shopping the area. This gives them more time to apply and benefits owners already here equally.”

Mitchell said the idea for the program centered on promoting and attracting small businesses to town.

A lack of marketing however, made the grant useless until earlier this year when three local businesses applied to take advantage of the rebate.

“I wanted to make Kyle more equitable for small businesses,” Mitchell said. “We do a lot to attract large businesses, but we care about smaller business too.”

No rebates or incentives currently exist for small businesses once construction begins.

“I’m going to discuss making this more local business-friendly,” Tenorio said. “City Council can consider it and take it to a vote.”

Mitchell said the council will be hearing Tenorio’s proposed changes at the May 7 meeting.

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