Denton County commissioners adopted a new abatement policy Tuesday that officials say gives smaller companies a better shot at getting tax breaks from the county.

Among the changes are the minimum dollar-amount of capital investment a company can make in order to receive a tax incentive from the county.

The new policy allows a company to invest a minimum of $1 million and create between 10 and 50 jobs in order to receive an abatement from Denton County. The old policy, which was repealed Tuesday to make way for the new one, gave no abatement for investments less than $10 million.

Denton County Economic Development Director Michael Talley said the changes should be good news for smaller communities. A lower threshold could mean that smaller projects with the potential to develop smaller towns can now get a boost from the county.

“For Sanger or Aubrey or Ponder, or a city or town of that size, that can make a huge difference in their community,” Talley said in a Nov. 12 commissioners court discussion.

In earlier discussions before Tuesday’s move, county officials said they want in the future to focus more on job creation and not just the amount of a company’s capital investment. Another aspect is to keep jobs in smaller, more rural communities.

"A real priority of ours is to create jobs across the county, not just in the urban areas," County Judge Andy Eads said Tuesday afternoon.

Commissioner Hugh Coleman said Tuesday that having a job in the town one lives in encourages civic engagement there because people spend more time in their communities when they’re not away from town during the work week.

“I want to be sure we’re got jobs in every area so people can live and work and play at the same time,” Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell said in the Nov. 12 meeting.

DALTON LAFERNEY can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @daltonlaferney.

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