Jefferson Energy Companies presents checks to Commissioners Court

Published 9:53 pm Friday, January 31, 2020

By Michael Cole

The Orange Leader


A packed courtroom heard some good news from Jefferson Energy Companies on Tuesday.

Mark Viator, Jefferson Energy Director of Government Affairs, during public comments, presented the Commissioners Court checks totaling $4.65 million dollars.

 “Because of the vision of the Orange County Commissioner’s Court in granting two tax abatements, we now have a total of 194 full-time positions, 295 capital contract positions for a total of close to 500 jobs created because of tax abatements,” Viator stated.

Viator continued, “I hear people ask, what are the benefits of tax abatements? Well, like here, before you had no assets, no jobs. But now, because of the vision of the court, you have jobs, close to 500 jobs, close to 200 full-time positions. You have a tax base that has paid over and over to the tune today of over $4.6 million.”

He thanked the court on behalf of Jefferson Energies.

Orange County Judge John Gothia, in accepting the checks on behalf of the county stated, “We appreciate you here. We appreciate what you do, and definitely appreciate $4.6 million.”

The checks delivered to the Court were broken down as follows:

  • Taxes                                                           $4,325,980
  • PILOT payment (2014 Agreement)     $    112,500
  • PILOT payment (2018 Agreement)     $    180,000
  • Administration Fee (2014)                   $      12,500
  • Administration Fee (2018)                   $      20,000


Since 2014, according to literature handed out to Viator, Jefferson Energy has paid $16,290,260 in taxes to various local entities:


  • Orange County                                  $    877,880
  • OC PILOT                                         $ 1,012,500
  • Drainage District                               $ 1,226,450
  • Port of Orange                                  $      67,850
  • Farm & Lot Road                              $        4,700
  • ESD-1 Vidor                                      $ 1,003,620
  • Vidor ISD                                         $11,984,760
  • OCEDC Admin Fee                          $   112,500


As per the abatement agreements, Jefferson Energy Companies were required to hire at least 75 employees from the Orange County area. 

As of December 2019, out of 489 jobs created, 81 of those were from the Orange County area

Jefferson Energy has two abatement agreements with Orange County. 

The first one was in 2014, a Chapter 381 economic development abatement, which was a 10- year 100-percent abatement. The agreement began on January 1, 2014 and ends on December 31, 2024.

The second abatement began on March 1, 2018, and concludes in 2028 was for $150 million dollars.

Orange County Emergency Management Coordinator Joel Ardoin updated the court on Natural Disaster Imelda work. 

He stated, “As far as the debris is concerned, we are now complete.”

The court approved an interlocal agreement with the City of Orange. This agreement will allow the county to contribute up to $100,000 of Hotel Occupancy Tax funds for perimeter fencing for the City of Orange’s Pavilion.

Theresa Beauchamp, Precinct 2 Commissioner, was not in attendance due to illness.