City of Baytown, Texas
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Economic Development
The City of Baytown, Texas is the third largest city in the Houston Metropolitan Area. Located east of Houston, Baytown is only 20 miles from downtown Houston, within 35 minutes of Houston Hobby Airport and within 55 minutes of Houston Intercontinental Airport. Houston is readily accessible via Interstate 10, a major thoroughfare running through the north side of Baytown. The City encompasses an area of 34 square miles with an estimated population of 71,358 for 2006.

Baytown boasts a rich environment, history and economic heritage. It is surrounded by six bays and the Houston Ship Channel, which has led not only to the development of a booming petrochemical industry, but also a variety of recreational activities centered around the area’s waterways. In the past, Baytown was home to Karankawa Indians, and some their artifacts can still be found at the Baytown Nature Center. Many historic battles also took place in the Baytown area including the Battle of San Jacinto where Texas won its independence.

The City was incorporated January 24, 1948 as a Home Rule City operating under the Council-Manager form of government. The City Council is composed of the Mayor and six City Council members. All six of the Council members are required to reside within defined districts from which they are elected. The Mayor is elected at large. As a result of a May 13, 2006 Charter election, all City Council positions and the Mayor are elected for three-year staggered terms.

Article III, Section 32 of the City Charter requires that the Council appoint a City Manager to act as the chief administrative and executive officer of the City. It is the responsibility of the City Manager to appoint and remove department heads and conduct the general affairs of the City in accordance with the policies of the Council.

Summary of Local Economy
The City of Baytown in the past five calendar years (2000 – 2005), has experienced more than over $210 million in new commercial development and more than $205 million in new residential building activity has occurred. This residential trend is continuing with $12 million of the new construction occurring in the first six months of calendar year 2006. Commercial renovation and expansion are also strong with $63 million in activity in the past five years.

City and Community Initiatives

The community is proud of its industrial heritage and the many opportunities a strong industrial base provides. City officials, citizen groups, business and industry have a similar vision; to make this community a better place to live, work and raise our children. Some of those efforts include:

  • On May 5, 2001, in the general election, the citizens of the City of Baytown approved six bond propositions that include $20 million in street improvement and rehabilitation projects, $3.2 million in drainage improvements and $2.2 million in fire fighting facilities and equipment.
  • On May 5, 2001, in the general election, the citizens of the City of Baytown also voted to authorize the creation of the Baytown Municipal Development District (MDD) and the collection of a ½ cent sales and use tax for the purpose of financing economic development projects that provide economic benefit and diversify the economic base of the community. The MDD will fund additional economic and public improvements in the amount of $27 million dollars over the next 10 years. Phase one projects, which are planned for the first five years, include the areas of economic development initiatives; streets, drainage, sidewalks and signalization improvements; utilities improvements; and parks improvements. Projects planned for the sixth year total approximately $3 million.
  • The voters approved a street maintenance sales tax in the amount of ¼ of 1% on May 15, 2004. The funds generated by the sales tax are limited to the maintenance of existing residential streets as of May 15, 2004. Three types of maintenance are performed: concrete street repair, asphalt milling/overlay and crack sealing.
  • On May 13, 2006 the citizens voted to create the Baytown Crime Control and Prevention District dedicated to crime reduction programs and the adoption of a proposed local sales and use tax at a rate of one-eighth of one percent (1/8%).
  • On May 13, 2006 the citizens voted to the Baytown Fire Control, Prevention, and Emergency Medical Services District dedicated to fire safety and emergency medical services and the adoption of a proposed local sales and use tax at a rate of one-eighth of one percent (1/8%).
  • With the support of the community, numerous amenities continue to be developed including (1) the Goose Creek Greenbelt Project, which creates a linear park through the heart of the community; (2) The Baytown Nature Center, a 450 acre preserve within the city limits developed from what was known as the Brownwood subdivision that was destroyed by subsidence and Hurricane Alicia. The Nature Center is on the The Great Texas Birding Trail and is host to over 300 different species of birds along with numerous varieties of flora and fauna and (3) The Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Education and Recreation Center, a cooperative effort of the School District, Lee College and the City to provide an opportunity for young and old to learn more about fisheries, wildlife, ecology, etc.
  • Quality of life continues to be a focus for City departments. Projects such as the new walking trail, renovated parking facilities and a new Sprayground at Roseland Park are examples of efforts to make Baytown a better place.
  • The civil plan review and building permit application process has been improved so that the turnaround period once again meets our target of 20 days for commercial plans, improving our service to citizens and developers.
  • The creation of a Unified Land Development Code (ULDC) was approved in a previous budget as a joint venture between the City and the Municipal Development District. This project will consolidate and organize all codes from the existing codification as well as proposing new zoning regulations into a new document that is easier to use and more “developer friendly”. The ULDC will assist in the preparation and review of plans for development.
  • The “Downtown Redevelopment Program” is in its fifth year of funding. Years 1 and 2 were funded from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) budget and included a Downtown Redevelopment Coordinator and development of a Downtown Redevelopment Master Plan. Reductions in CDBG allocations eliminated the resources to continue CDBG support of the downtown redevelopment efforts. The General Fund in 2004-05 and 2005-06 included an allocation of one-for-one match funds to continue the support of the Baytown Downtown Association. Projects consistent with elements of the Downtown Master Plan will be eligible for a 100% match of outside/private funding sources. An increased funding level is proposed for 2006-07.
  • The City is building a new 4.0 million gallons per day (MGD) sewer treatment plant in the northeast part of the community. Estimated cost of the plant is $17,500,000. Construction is to begin in 2006, with completion expected in 2008. The plant’s design will allow it to be expanded up to 16 MGD to accommodate future growth of Baytown. The plant is being built through a contract between the City and CSA Construction, Inc. Money to build the plant is through a contribution from Municipal Development District, a loan from the Texas Water Development Board and from the sale of certificates of obligation.
  • Phase I of the expansion of the Baytown Area Water Authority (BAWA) plant is complete. Phase II is on hold pending the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) study to develop new recommendations pertaining to disinfection programs (Ozone). A two year raw water monitoring will begin in January of 2007 and will be used to determine if ozone should be implemented at the BAWA surface water plant. The effect of the new rules regarding the BAWA Plant and recommendations for implementation will follow the review. Phase III is nearing completion. This includes the replacement of equipment that has reached its useful life; pumping improvement to achieve a firm capacity of 26 MGD; and safety improvements. Phase III began in the summer of 2002 and is scheduled to be completed in 2006. These expansions are required due to growth in and around Baytown.
  • The City has established Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Number One (TIRZ) in the Garth Road/San Jacinto Mall area. Two 300-home subdivisions are under construction and plans include improving the mall and re-establishing it as a regional retail amenity. The mall plan includes public attractions such as public plazas, fountains and landscaping. Areas within the zone adjacent to the mall will be developed with commercial retail and additional residential areas. Two nationally recognized restaurants have developed mall pad sites.
  • The City has established a tax abatement program to encourage economic development. In order to be considered for tax abatement, a project must meet several criteria pertaining to job creation and property value enhancement. Abatement shall be granted effective with the January 1 valuation date immediately following the date of execution of the agreement. 100% of the value of new eligible properties shall be abated for the first 3 years, followed by 80% abatement for the fourth year, and 60% abatement for the fifth year. In no case shall the period of abatement exceed 5 years.
  • The Grand Parkway is a 170-mile outer loop planned to serve the regional mobility needs of Houston and seven surrounding counties. It is being developed through a partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation, private landowners, local governments and public interest groups. The Grand Parkway (SH 99) has been divided into nine segments (A-I2), each of which is a complete and independently justifiable project. Segment I-2, from SH 146 to IH 10 near Baytown will be the second leg of SH 99 constructed. The project was begun in 1991. A DEIS, schematics, and FEIS were prepared. The Record of Decision was signed in August 1998. Currently, the Grand Parkway Association is coordinating the 404 permit with the Corps of Engineers, and working with a title company to finalize R.O.W. donations. TxDOT is designing SH 99 from Spur 55 at FM 1405 east and north to IH 10.
  • The Baytown City Council approved ordinance number 9854 on August 26, 2004, which establishes impact fees to ensure the provision of adequate facilities to serve new development in the service area by requiring each such development to pay its pro rated share of the cost of water and wastewater capital improvements necessitated by and attributable to such new development.
  • Baytown has been recognized by several organizations and agencies by being the recipient of the following:
    • Chevron Conservation Award
    • 2002 Gulf of Mexico Program Award
    • Environmental Excellence Award
    • 2003 Government Program First Place Award, 2006 Government Program and Project First Place Awards by Keep Texas Beautiful
The City of Baytown and its citizens share a vision of what this community can be. The decision was made several years ago to improve our quality of life and the information above is an example of the commitment that has been made.

Industrial Development
The City has created, within its extraterritorial jurisdiction, three Industrial Districts. The City has annexed a portion of each industry located within the Industrial Districts and has entered into contracts with each such industry. The contracts specify payments to be made to the City in lieu of ad valorem taxes in exchange for the City not annexing the industry during the seven-year terms of the contracts. The series of contract renewals began in 2003 with an effective date of tax year 2002.

The existing contracts that have not come up for renewal compute the payments as follows: Each Industrial District payment is based upon forty to fifty percent (40%-50%) of the fair market value of the industry within the City limits and extraterritorial jurisdiction of the City, as determined by the Industrial Appraisal Review Board, times the current tax rate minus the amount paid by the industry to the City as taxes on that portion of the industry within the City limits.

The new contract payments are calculated as follows: Each Industrial District payment is based upon fifty to sixty percent (50%-60%) of the fair market value of the industry within the City limits and extraterritorial jurisdiction of the City, as determined by the Industrial Appraisal Review Board, times the current tax rate minus the amount paid by the industry to the City as taxes on that portion of the industry within the City limits. The contract has a base year of 2002 or the latest certified value whichever is greater. Any future value increases over that base year value are excluded from the payment calculation. In addition, any value decreases are not considered in the payment calculation.

The City’s strong industrial tax base provides the foundation for stable economic conditions necessary for maintaining a healthy, vibrant economy. The cornerstones of Baytown’s industrial development are three world-recognized entities consisting of ExxonMobil, Bayer and Chevron Phillips.

The ExxonMobil Baytown Complex is one of the largest integrated and most technologically advanced petroleum and petrochemical complexes in the world. Founded in 1919, ExxonMobil's Baytown, Texas complex is located on approximately 3,400 acres along the Houston Ship Channel.

The Baytown complex is comprised of three manufacturing sites (a refinery, a chemical plant and an olefins plant), the Chemical Company's Technology and Engineering Complex and a regional downstream engineering office.

The facilities pay over $78.4 million in annual property taxes (city, county, school and college).

The Baytown complex is staffed by approximately 3,140 ExxonMobil employees and 1,269 contract personnel, who manage the businesses and operate and maintain the manufacturing facilities on a 24-hour, year-round basis.

The Baytown Refinery is fully integrated with the Chemical and Olefins plants, and is a major source of petrochemical feedstocks for these plants.

The Baytown Refinery is the largest refinery in the United States, with a crude oil capacity of 564,000 barrels per day. The Baytown Refinery has the flexibility to process heavy, high-sulfur and - metal crudes into a full range of petroleum products, including motor gasoline, jet and diesel fuels, heating oil and coke.

The Baytown Chemical Plant produces more than 7.2 billion pounds of petrochemical products each year through its three ExxonMobil Chemical manufacturing groups. These are used in everyday products such as polyester fabric and plastic bottles, packaging and appliance parts.

The Baytown Olefins Plant (BOP) is adjacent to the Baytown Refinery and Chemical Plant. The plant produces 6 billion pounds of the world's most widely used primary petrochemicals -- ethylene, propylene and butadiene -- and is feedstock flexible. These are used in everyday products such as disposable diapers, automobile parts, safety gear and medical supplies and garments. It is one of the largest ethylene plants in the world.

Baytown Olefins Plant also houses most of the cogeneration facilities that produce all of the power and steam required to operate the ExxonMobil Baytown complex. Total cogeneration capacity is approximately about 500 megawatts.

The Baytown Technology and Engineering Complex provides worldwide research and development support to ExxonMobil Chemical's eleven global business groups, and houses Chemical's global manufacturing and engineering organizations.

Another industrial corporate citizens' presence in Baytown, the Bayer Baytown Industrial Park, is distinguished by steady expansion. Strategically positioned along Cedar Bayou for barge access, the Baytown plant is located on 1,688 acres, of which 35 percent is developed and employs approximately 2,000 people, including permanent contractors. Since 1971, when the first polyurethane unit started up, the site has grown more than ten-fold. Over the last ten years, Bayer Corporation has invested over $1.3 billion, by far the single largest capital investment within Bayer worldwide. Guest facilities (Hexion (Borden), Calpine Construction Finance Corporation (Baytown Energy Center), First Chemical, El Dorado Nitrogen, and Texas Brine) have been invited to join Bayer’s industrial park site to provide strategic raw materials and energy for Bayer’s consumption. Today, Baytown is the largest of Bayer's U.S. chemicals operations, home to three active business groups – Bayer Polymers, Bayer Chemicals and Bayer Corporate and Business Services. Bayer Technology Services occupies a newly constructed headquarters at Baytown to serve the Bayer businesses in the Americas. A new gulf coast distribution center opened mid 2003 to consolidate Bayer’s growing shipments and is adjacent to the manufacturing operations.

Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC (Chevron Phillips Chemical), with its affiliates, is one of the world's top producers of olefins and polyolefins and a leading supplier of aromatics, alpha olefins, styrenics, specialty chemicals, piping and proprietary plastics. The company has total assets of almost $7 billion and is owned equally by Chevron Corporation and ConocoPhillips. Located in Baytown, Texas, Chevron Phillips Chemical’s Cedar Bayou Chemical Plant is the largest of the company’s domestic manufacturing facilities with approximately 592 employees and approximately 350 contract employees. The Cedar Bayou Plant is an integrated olefins chemical complex that (1) manufactures ethylene and propylene from light hydrocarbons, natural gas liquids and refinery feedstocks; and (2) upgrades its ethylene product into alpha olefins and polyethylene resins. The Cedar Bayou Plant consists of approximately 1,200 acres with 650 of those developed to date.

The “Houston Business Journal” in its February 3, 2000, issue, listed Cedar Crossing Business Park located in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of Baytown - Chambers County, as the largest industrial park in the Houston area. USX Realty Development is developing the park. The Texas Department of Economic Development has identified Cedar Crossing as the prime industrial site in the Texas Gulf Coast region. As a planned industrial park, its primary uses are industrial, manufacturing warehousing and distribution. Amenities include water, rail and highway transportation, on-site feedstock pipeline and abundant surface water for process operations. Companies such as Jindal Steel from India and Samson Controls of Germany as well as numerous others occupy the site.

A recent addition to the industrial park includes a 750,000 square foot Home Depot regional distribution warehouse with 300 new jobs. The possibility exists for an expansion to more than double the size and employment at this facility.

One of the largest Super Wal-Mart stores in Texas opened in July 2001 at Garth and Lynchburg-Cedar Bayou Road with one-quarter of a million square feet in sales area. In 2005, the company also built and operates a massive distribution center in the Cedar Crossing Business Park. It is a 2 million square-foot distribution center on a 296-acre site which employs between 300 and 400 people.

City Outlook
Baytown completed and City Council adopted the Baytown 2020 Comprehensive Plan in November 2000. This plan served as a guide for policy decisions relating to the physical growth and economic development of the community over the next 20 years. In addition to providing a community vision and goals and objectives to work towards and through the Year 2020, the plan evaluates the opportunities and challenges facing the City, identifies important policies and strategies, and sets priorities for an aggressive implementation program that emphasis specific actions and practical results. The Baytown 2020 Comprehensive Plan is in the process of being updated and should be completed during the 2006-07 budget year.


Fast Facts

Date of Incorporation

January 24, 1948

Area Incorporated (square miles)


Form of Government


Miles of Streets


Number of Parks


Number of Park Acres


Municipal Water System

Number of water customers


System Capacity (million gallons per day)


Miles of water mains


Municipal Wastewater System

Number of sewer connections


Current system capacity (million gallons per day)


Under construction (million gallons per day)


Miles of sanitary sewer lines


Major highways

Interstate 10

State Highway 146

Loop 330


Union Pacific

Minutes to Bush Intercontinental Airport


Minutes to Hobby Airport


Minutes to Port of Houston



Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District

Number of Elementary Schools


Number of Junior Schools


Number of High Schools


(third high school under design)

Lee College

Age Distribution (American Community Survey Profile 2003)

65 and over


45 to 64


25 to 44


18 to 24


Under 18


Median Age (American Community Survey 2003)

35.2 years

Median Household Income (American Community Survey 2003)


Average Home Value


City Property Tax Rate (per $100 valuation)


Principal Taxpayers

ExxonMobil Company

CenterPoint Energy

Verizon Southwest

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Continental Airlines, Inc.

Valero Marketing & Supply

Car Son Bay LP

Memorial NW Pavilion Trust

Camden Property Trust

LCY Elastomers LP

Employment by Industry (American Community Survey 2003)

Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and mining






Wholesale trade


Retail trade


Transportation and warehousing and utilities




Finance, insurance, real estate, and rental and leasing


Professional and business services


Educational, health and social services


Leisure and hospitality


Other services (except public administration)


Public administration


Sales Tax Rate (percent)

State of Texas


City of Baytown


Baytown Municipal Development District


Baytown Street Maintenance Sales Tax


Baytown Crime Control and Prevention District


Baytown Fire Control and Emergency Medical Services District




Economic Development Incentives

Downtown Redevelopment Program

Enterprise Zone Program

Industrial Development Agreements

Tax Increment Investment Zone

Tax Abatement Policy

Related Forms and Documents
Guidelines for Tax Abatement Reinvestment Zone 2006 PDF Format (51k)
Industrial District Agreement PDF Format (86k)

Last updated: Thursday, September 21, 2006 at 11:22:12 AM

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Contact Information

Baytown Chamber of Commerce

1300 Rollingbrook, Suite 400
Baytown, Texas 77521
(281) 422-8359

Baytown West Chambers County Economic Development Foundation

1300 Rollingbrook, Suite 400
Baytown, Texas 77521
(281) 420-2961

City of Baytown Planning and Development Department

2401 Market Street
Baytown, Texas 77522
(281) 420-5394

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