New EDC Board takes shape

The Van Horn Economic Development Corporation (EDC), State Charter 0137642201, was reorganized yesterday evening after city alderman appointed Rosario Yglecias, Lisa Cottrell, Ben File, Becky Brewster, Sandy Garibay, Laura Reyes and Karolyne Carloss to the 7-member panel during the last city meeting. New members were administered the Oath of Office and officers installed at the meeting are Becky Brewster, President, Karolyne Carloss, Vice President, Lisa Cottrell, Secretary, and Rosario Yglecias, Treasurer. As the new group becomes active, they will review and implement local EDC policy including the use of sales tax to promote economic development.

In 1979, the Texas Legislature passed the Development Corporation Act of 1979 which allowed a municipality to create nonprofit development corporations that could promote the creation of new and expanded industry and manufacturing activity within the municipality and its vicinity. The development corporation operates separately from the municipality, with boards of directors that would oversee their efforts. The EDC has existed in Van Horn since 1998.

Economic development for many Texas cities and come counties is a matter of tourism. Texas consistently ranks in the top 3 destination states for travelers. To fund the promotion of tourism, more than 500 Texas cities and 60 counties levy a local hotel occupancy tax generating over a billion dollars per year in revenue. The amount of money spent on tourism is growing and communities are looking to tourism for much needed revenue. The local hotel occupancy tax can provide an important source of funding for maintenance of a city’s and county’s tourism program and can translate into economic development for the entire area.