The City of Athens is nominating Biomerics on Enterprise Street for tax refunds under the Texas Enterprise Zone Program.

“The cities have to nominate the project to be an Enterprise Zone Program, then they have an application process that goes to the state,” Athens Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Lisa Denton said on Friday, “I think the application went in today.”

According to the Texas Comptroller's website, the program is an “economic development tool that allows local communities to partner with the state of Texas to encourage job creation and capital investment in economically distressed areas. Local communities can nominate a new or expanding business as an "enterprise project."

“It enables them to get sales and use tax refunds on construction materials and things of that nature,” Denton said. “It's refunded back on the basis of capital investment and job retention.”

The company works with a consultant to complete the application and submit all the information on the project. The state approves a certain amount of projects each year.

“They have to be located in economically distressed areas and our industrial park is in one of those areas of the state,” Denton said.

The City Council voted on Monday to nominate Biomerics, which recently bought FutureMatrix Interventional, for the program. The city, AEDC and Henderson County have all taken steps in recent months to give the company incentives to stay in Athens.

In July, Athens officials approved an incentive plan for Biomerics that included a tax abatement.  The abatement will not affect the existing value on the tax rolls but the reinvestment by the company. The abatement will be for a five-year term at 90 percent for the first three years and 75 percent for the final two years.

On  November 6 a tax abatement was approved.