Neighborhood Empowerment Zone

What is the NEZ?

The City of Laredo created the Neighborhood Empowerment Zone (NEZ) Program to improve City Council Districts III and VIII by encouraging private investment in housing, businesses, and services in NEZ areas. The NEZ Program is the vehicle by which incentives like building permit fee waivers and municipal property tax abatements can be granted to homeowners, investor-owners and developers proposing new construction projects or rehabilitation projects that are located within the NEZ area.

Neighborhood Empowerment Zone (NEZ) Resolution


This document highlights the process and the benefits for an NEZ project, including tax abatement incentives and building permit fee waivers.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I apply for the NEZ?

    Apply at the Building Development Services Department located at 1120 San Bernardo Ave. When you apply for a building permit, and if required, a zoning change, staff will assess your project at that time to determine if it is NEZ eligible. If it meets all criteria, you will receive notice that your project has been certified to receive NEZ incentives.

  • What are some of the criteria to qualify for the NEZ Program?

    • The property must be located in the NEZ area.

    • The proposed rehab must be 20% or more than the Webb County Appraisal District improvement value of the property.

    • The property must be zoned correctly.

    • The property is a permanent structure, and not a mobile structure.

    • The owner / developer is not delinquent in paying taxes and does not have any City liens against any property they own.

  • Are there any fees associated with the NEZ Application?

    Yes. The application for residential tax abatements is $100. The application fee for multi-family, commercial, industrial, community facilities and mixed-use development projects is one-half of one percent (0.5%) of the proposed projects Capital Investment, with a $150 minimum not to exceed $1000. If you are approved for tax abatements, City staff will work with you to finalize the tax abatement agreement with the City.

  • What are the incentives offered?

    Municipal Property Tax Abatement

    Two types of tax abatement programs will be available based on eligibility criteria.ria


    Fee Waivers

    Most building and inspection fees will be waved automatically.

    These fees will be waived on a case-by-case basis: Right-of-Way Permit (curb and street cut), Floodplain Fees, Water Permit Fees, Sprinkler System Permit Fees, Plat application fee (including concept plan, preliminary plat, final plat, short form replat), Demolition Fee, Zoning application fee.

  • What if I qualify, but do not wish to participate?

    The owner of the property will be required to sign an NEZ Disclaimer acknowledging that they were informed about the program but declined to participate. Proof of ownership and a copy of the warranty deed will be required.

  • How long will the NEZ process take?

    Customer has two options which are the regular or expedited process:

    1. Normal NEZ process

         a. Once a completed application has been accepted; it takes two to three weeks to get

             approved through City Council.

         b. Construction plans must be submitted for Plan Review with Plans Examiners at

             Building Development Services Department.

         c. Once approved, construction plans are obtained with Building Development Services

             Department and a Building Permit can be obtained


    2. Expedited Fee Waiver NEZ Process

         a. Once a completed application has been accepted; it takes 3-5 business days to

             certify the project.

         b. Approved construction plans are obtained with Building Development Services

             Department and a Building Permit can be obtained, with the understanding in the

             event City Council does not approve the project, the applicant must pay all fees


To explore vacant lot properties in the Laredo inner city area click on this link

Neighborhood Empowerment Zone (NEZ) Resolution


This document sets forth the creation of the NEZ and details the requirements and guidelines that we follow to obtain NEZ Designation. It speaks to specific details regarding Program Qualifications based on intended use.


Please contact us for questions or comments. Thank you.

Arturo Garcia - Director  (956.794.1625)

Blanca E. Sanchez  (956.794.1625)

NEZ 1 & Program Guidelines



Expedited Certification Process


Neighborhood Empowerment Zone (NEZ) Application & Waiver


This is the required application for NEZ projects.  The application must be turned into the Building Development Services Department, accompanied by the following: proof of ownership, reduced 11x17 plan set, detailed budget.


The certification process will take at least 2-3 weeks. There is no construction or rehabilitation to be done until the project is approved by City Council.


If you do not want your project to be considered for the NEZ Program, this waiver form is required by our department to receive a permit or begin plan review.

Information on Expedited Process



Applicant has the option to exercise the expedited process in order to obtain a permit. These are the expedited certification process guidelines and steps.

Economic Incentive Development Program
Iturbide Street

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