Baytown-West Chambers County Economic Development Foundation | 1300 Rollingbrook Dr., Suite 610 | Baytown, TX 77521 | 281.420.2961 |

Barbers Hill drives local economy

April 20, 2023

Among all the conversations and controversies regarding public school systems today, there’s one that doesn’t get a lot of attention -- its impact on the local economy.

Barbers Hill ISD is a shining example of a school district stimulating the economy of Mont Belvieu, Chambers County and regionally, says the state’s leading economic analysis firm.

Through its mission of providing an excellent education to students, an analysis by The Perryman Group finds Barbers Hill ISD also generates a substantial economic stimulus through its operations, spending by teachers and staff, construction projects, and the catalytic effects of facilitating economic development initiatives.

Operations related to the 7,400-student school district lead to an estimated $205 million in gross product and nearly 2,390 jobs (including multiplier effects such as the spending by school personnel in the local area), according to Perryman.

Barbers Hill ISD continues to pay the highest-average base salary for teachers in all years of experience statewide.

“Barbers Hill ISD is the largest employer in Chambers County, and this study quantifies the significant impact that our state-leading salaries have on the local economy,” said Barbers Hill Superintendent Dr. Greg Poole.

“Over $15 million is pumped annually into our economy just from the amount our salaries are above the Houston-area average,” Dr. Poole added. “This means our teachers are not the only winners in working for the best school district in the state -- local businesses win too!”

Also, Barbers Hill has completed or started numerous construction and renovation projects over the last five years thanks to overwhelming community support for multiple million-dollar bond issues. These projects include, among others, new intermediate schools, early childhood center, technology building, new leadership support center, classrooms and other additions, baseball and softball press box and bleacher expansions, and a transportation center renovation.

The Perryman Group estimates that district construction projects have led an increase in business activity in the local area including approximately $246.3 million in gross product and approximately 2,490 jobs.

In addition, the school district has participated in economic development agreements “which have contributed to the investment of tens of billions of dollars in the area and led to an impressive ongoing stimulus,” the study says.

In fact, Barbers Hill has granted more value limitation agreements than any other district in Texas – 37 for an estimated value of about $20 billion.

Commonly known as Chapter 313, state law gave school districts a mechanism for allowing 10-year limitations on appraised value for a portion of property taxes. In exchange for the value limitation and reduced liability, recipients agreed to build or install new property and create jobs.

The estimated cumulative economic benefits of Barbers Hill-area construction related to value limitation agreements since 2009 include over $4.4 billion in gross product and more than 43,700 jobs in the local area, with $25.8 billion in gross product and approximately 244,900 jobs across the state.

Operations of these firms lead to nearly $1 billion in annual gross product and more than 5,160 jobs (including multiplier effects) in the local area, with $1.1 billion in yearly gross product and almost 7,800 jobs across the state. Note that the multiplier effects for these industries is very high due to the concentration of related industries including supplier networks, which greatly enhance the benefits of these facilities.

“The integrated use of incentives provided for by Chapters 313, 312, 380, and 381 of the Texas Tax Code has been critical to our ability to effectively compete domestically and internationally in attracting and retaining industry in the Baytown/West Chambers County economy. The District’s participation in Chapter 313 is integral to this economic development success,” said B.J. Simon, president and CEO of the Baytown-West Chambers County Economic Development Foundation.

These school district-facilitated projects not only provide hundreds of well-paying direct jobs, but also support multiplier effects throughout the economies of nearby communities, the surrounding region, the state and beyond, The Perryman Group study says.

“The success we are experiencing in our community is a direct reflection of its leadership. The outstanding strategic planning and partnerships of Barbers Hill ISD with the City of Mont Belvieu, Chambers County, and our surrounding industrial partners have created a culture for positive growth - with the highest standards - causing the incredible ripple affect we are witnessing today,” said Macie Schubert, president and CEO of the West Chambers County Chamber of Commerce.