Appendix A: Disadvantaged Counties

Overview

The majority of the following information is taken from the Economically Disadvantaged Counties Program, Program Information, Texas Department of Transportation, September, 2001”.

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Background

Senate Bill 370 of the 75th Legislature amended the Transportation Code in §222.053 to:

…require the [Texas Transportation] Commission, when evaluating a proposal for a highway improvement project in a local government that consists of all or a portion of an economically disadvantaged county, to adjust the minimum local matching funds requirement after evaluating the local government’s effort and ability to meet the requirement.

Texas Administrative Code rules implementing the legislation became effective January 1, 1998. 43TAC, §§15.50-15.56, describe Federal, State, and local responsibilities for cost participation in highway improvement projects. The rules prescribe criteria the commission will consider in evaluating a request for an adjustment. §15.55 prescribes cost participation ratios for local governments in those projects.

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Definition

The legislation defines an economically disadvantaged county as a county that has, in comparison to other counties in the state,

  • below average per capita taxable property value,
  • below average per capita income, and
  • above average unemployment.

TxDOT will identify economically disadvantaged counties for each fiscal year based on data obtained from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. After the determinations are made, the Transportation Planning and Programming (TPP) Division will notify each of TxDOT’s local district offices that contain all or a portion of an economically disadvantaged county.

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Project Eligibility

To be eligible, an on-system project must be both commission-authorized and not yet let. An off-system project is eligible if it is not yet let and commission-authorized or -approved within a district bank balance program.

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