Agricultural Commissioner Todd Staples Speaks to the Polk County Chamber of Commerce.
Commissioner Staples Visits Polk County to Honor Area as a GO TEXAN Certified Retirement Community
LIVINGSTON, August 7, 2009 - Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples today met with Polk County leaders to recognize the community as a GO TEXAN Certified Retirement Community (CRC). The CRC program helps communities attract retirees and potential retirees to make their homes in Texas. Polk County joins 27 other cities and counties across the state as a CRC member.
"I extend my most sincere congratulations to the citizens and leaders of Polk County for achieving this notable certification," Commissioner Staples said. "Not only do retirees have a significant economic impact on retirement areas, but they also bring a wealth of knowledge and energy to community service, employment and business."
Retirees spend an average $42,500 each year in their respective communities, while also paying $3,000 or more in state and local taxes. Polk County leaders are confident the recent designation will open the door for more economic development opportunities.
"Polk County applauds Commissioner Staples and TDA for the leadership role they have taken in this initiative, and their development of a program that will be a driving force in the future growth of Texas," Polk County Judge John P. Thompson said. "The retirement industry represents a significant, positive economic resource for communities throughout the state, and Polk County is especially pleased to receive this certification."
"I congratulate Polk County on being designated a GO TEXAN Retirement Community," Rep. John Otto said. "Now, more Texans and migrating Texans will know what a great place Polk County is for retirees."
"Polk County is a great area to represent and a wonderful place for retirees," Sen. Robert Nichols said. "I appreciate the hard work of Commissioner Staples and TDA in getting the word out about Polk County and all it has to offer retirees."
To become a CRC, communities must complete an application and retirement desirability assessment covering a wide range of topics, including demographics, tax structure, local housing availability, safety, employment opportunities, availability of health care services, public transportation and more. The application process also requires communities to submit a marketing plan and long-term plan for maintaining and improving desirability for retirees. An independent volunteer advisory team representing leaders in business, healthcare, city/state government and retirees reviews and scores the applications.
"The Texas Department of Agriculture is looking forward to working with Polk County and our other certified retirement communities in a campaign to make Texas the No. 1 retirement destination in America," Commissioner Staples said.
The CRC program is open to any community in Texas that wants to showcase itself as a retirement location and a tourist destination. Interested communities should contact TDA's Rural Economic Development Division toll free at (877) 428-7848 or e-mail mailto:finance@TexasAgriculture.gov.