Mouser Electronics will spend $8 million expanding its global headquarters and improving its IT infrastructure over the next five years.

To offset that cost, the Mansfield-based semiconductor distributor is seeking relief from state sales tax by applying for the Texas Enterprise Zone Program.

“Over the next five years, we have committed to invest significant capital and maintain certain employee staffing levels,” said Scott Brown, vice president of finance for Mouser Electronics. “Our business continues to grow and prosper, and as such, we plan to keep investing in our infrastructure. The state tax savings will go toward helping to offset the capital investment.”

Mouser is seeking an exemption from state sales tax, which equals 6.25 percent. Mansfield’s share of the sales tax, 2 percent, will not be affected.

That means it will not affect Mansfield’s budget. Mouser is the largest private employer and taxpayer in the city.

The Mansfield City Council voted unanimously to nominate Mouser for the Texas Enterprise Zone at its regular Monday night meeting and at two special meetings Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

The special meetings allowed Mansfield to fast-track the nomination before the June 1 deadline.

The Mansfield Economic Development Corporation, which is funded by a half-cent sales tax, is also assisting Mouser with its expansion plans, reimbursing the company $650,000 for the relocation of utilities lines and a large storm drain, said Scott Welmaker, director of economic development.

The MEDC participation requires that Mouser add another 200 employees.

Though not directly tied to the Mouser expansion, the MEDC also contributed $400,000 towards the extension of Mouser Road to the U.S. 287 frontage road, Welmaker said. The total cost of that road project, which should start soon, is $2.5 million.

New rules for dilapidated houses

The council also unanimously approved new regulations for dilapidated and unsafe buildings at those meetings.

The ordinance gives Mansfield code enforcement and building inspections department staff clear guidelines in how to handle these cases, said Joe Smolinski, deputy city manager.

“There are a number of structures around town that require attention, but that’s the case in any city,” Smolinski said. “The city’s goal with regard to this ordinance is to protect the health, safety and welfare of its residents. Doing so requires that we make sure the buildings people occupy are safe.”

The ordinance doesn’t introduce new compliant conditions that aren’t already in the city’s building and construction code, it just better explains the enforcement process, Smolinski said.

City staff do have authority to deem a building uninhabitable.

Also, property owners will know the specific process for remedying the situation. The majority of code violations or unsafe situations are addressed by the property owner.

“We simply notify them and ask that they fix it,” he said. “That usually does the trick.

In extreme situations where city staff are refused entry, they can obtain a search warrant.

The ordinance also explains the process for locating a property owner who doesn’t live on-site.

No specific cases prompted the item to be placed on the special meeting agendas, Smolinski said.

“There is absolutely no reason to fast track the Substandard Building Ordinance,” Smolinski said. “It is purely coincidence that it ended up alongside the Mouser Electronics Enterprise Zone issue.”

If it hadn’t been for Mouser, the item would have been done at regular meetings, he said.