By Hayley Kappes

Killeen Daily Herald

Temple voters approved the city's Health and Bioscience Economic Development District push to obtain status as a taxing entity during the municipal election Saturday.

Residents will not be taxed by the district until January 2011. The district is able to tax up to 15 cents per $100 property valuation, according to state law.

The district's board, composed of seven elected members, will determine the tax rate and go through the process of becoming a taxing entity.

Wendell Williams, chairman of Temple Health and Bioscience Economic Development District, said the initial tax rate will stand at 2.5 cents per $100 property value.

The district formed in 2003 after Temple residents voted in support for the special economic development district. Its focus is on economic development efforts in health care and bioscience technology.

The new tax will fund a bioscience accelerator, a facility equipped with wet labs, conference rooms and office space in Temple for scientists to foster their research and work.

"We want to take advantage of going forward in job growth, and working to create synergy of medical education and research," Williams said. "There is a critical mass of health care research in Temple. The next step is commercialization."

Scientists working at the bioscience accelerator will have the opportunity to turn their bioscience technology developments into marketable brands, Williams said.

Williams said the board is going through the planning process, and decisions will be made to bridge the time frame between now and January 2011, when residents are first taxed by the district.

"Given the current economic times, it's a real tribute to Temple residents and their forward-thinking view to pass a taxing authority that will impact the future of health and bioscience research in the city," Williams said.

Contact Hayley Kappes at or (254) 501-7559.

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