The Boomerang Tube Manufacturing Facility in Liberty, TX. Photo courtesy via Brinkmann Constructors.
Liberty, TX is one of the many communities where the federal Brownfields Tax Incentive has brought new jobs to formerly abandoned industrial plants.
The National Tube and Pipe (later Allied Pipe and Tube) opened in Liberty in 1973 and eventually became the largest employer in the town. When the company closed in 1993, it left behind a 492,000 square-foot manufacturing facility contaminated with PCBs, asbestos, a polluted retention pond and petroleum.
In 2009 Boomerang Tube, a manufacturer of pipe and tubes for oil and gas customers, announced its intent renovate and expand the old National Tube and Pipe factory into a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. The project would bring 350 manufacturing jobs back to Liberty in the process. Boomerang Tube had one significant hurdle, though: an estimated $1.2 million in cleanup costs.
The federal Brownfields Tax Incentive program helped make cleanup feasible for Boomerang. The Tax Incentive effectively limited the impact of cleanup costs on the development budget. Tax abatement and other local incentives also factored in, and Access Industries provided financing for the project. All of this helped clear the way for a $200 million investment in the plant and equipment.
The refurbished plant opened in 2011 and has a capacity to produce 400,000 tons of steel piping annually. Since then the company has grown and the initial estimate of 350 jobs has been surpassed, and currently stands at 600. Boomerang’s current property tax payments to Liberty are $1.8 million, annually, and will rise to $3.4 million after the tax abatement expires.
“This commitment is very important to the future of this community,” said Gary Broz, City Manager for Liberty, TX, “and it says a lot about the confidence of both Access and Boomerang Tube have in the people of Liberty.”
Speak out for the Brownfields Tax Incentive
The Brownfields Tax Incentive program expired in January, which means it can’t help communities like Liberty. The National Brownfields Coalition is working to persuade Congress to renew this tax incentive, but we need your help:
Speak out: Ask Congress to renew the Brownfields Tax Incentive.
By making redevelopment possible the Brownfields Tax Incentive helped Liberty, TX revive a major industry. Help more communities across the country achieve these goals by speaking out for this program today.