City Summary

Since the 1980’s Friendswood has grown considerably; the current population is more than 36,000. Friendswood encompasses parts of two counties--Northern Galveston and southern Harris County, divided by the popular Clear Creek. Clear Creek offers direct water access to the Gulf of Mexico through Clear Lake and Galveston Bay. It is located 3 miles west of IH-45, halfway between Houston and Galveston. Friendswood encompasses 21 square miles and is over 70% developed. There is ample room for growth--commercially, industrially and residentially.

Transportation systems are well developed with road, air and rail easily accessible. Friendswood highways include IH 45, Texas Highway 35, FM 528, FM 518, and FM 2351. The local Clover Field Airport provides a 4,300 ft. hard surface, lighted general aviation runway with fuel service. Houston's William P. Hobby Airport, served by eight carriers, is 15 miles to the north. Ellington Field, 5 miles to the east, operates as a general aviation reliever and is utilized as a cargo field. Rail service is conveniently provided in adjacent towns by four major railway companies.



Population (2014 Est.)
Males 18,699
Females 19,549
Total 38,248
Incomes (2015 Est.)
Median Household $101,552
Per Capita $47,952
Education (Ages 25+)
High School or Higher 95.0%
Bachelor’s Degree or Higher 48.6%
Graduate or Professional Degree 15.0%

Taxes and Business Costs

Taxing Entity Adopted Tax Rate Maintenance & Operations Rate Debt Rate Effective Tax Rate Effective Maintenance & Operations Rate Rollback Tax Rate
Tax Year 2016 0.546 0.462 0.084 0.534757 0.474069 0.618325
Tax Year 2016 1.387 1.13 0.257 1.32807 1.08838 0.598946
Tax Year 2016 0.552 0.464209 0.087791 0.557981 0.464838 0.598946

Sales Tax Rate (2017): 7.75%


Chapter 380 Municipal Grant Program

Municipal grant incentives may be considered at some level for new facilities, expansion or modernization of existing facilities that add new taxable values to the ad valorem tax rolls,and to businesses renovating or occupying existing facilities within the city of Friendswood. Grants may be used by the qualifying company for relocation assistance, land and/or building acquisition costs, building improvements or renovation, utility line extension and connections, payment of water and sewer impact fees, extension of public roads, and drainage improvements.

On June 16, 2008, City Council amended the Chapter 380 municipal grant program to include new considerations for downtown projects. The minimum investment requirement of increased real and personal property was lowered to $250,000 to qualify for a grant. In addition to the uses already approved, grant funds may be utilized for downtown improvements such as paved sidewalks, facades, street lighting, signage, and benches.

Please contact the Economic Development Coordinator at (281) 996-3250 for information regarding qualifications.

Neighborhood Empowerment Zone

On June 16, 2008, the City Council designated the downtown district as Neighborhood Empowerment Zone (NEZ) #1. This designation provides the following incentives to encourage development, renovation, and expansion in the downtown district. The City will:

  • Waive one hundred percent (100%) of all fees related to construction and development, including zoning, platting, site plan review, building, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, and gas permits for businesses and developers that are for profit and are zoned Downtown District;
  • Waive one hundred percent (100%) of water and wastewater impact fees; and
  • Potentially abate real property taxes in accordance with the City's tax abatement policies.

On November 17, 2008, City Council approved amendments to the Neighborhood Empowerment Zone #1 to expand the geographical boundaries of the Downtown District (Area A) to include the area along Friendswood Drive from Castlewood to Cowards Creek (Area B). Businesses and developers in Area B have the opportunity to opt-in to Downtown District incentives, as long as they are for profit and incorporate facade and/or sidewalk improvements according to the downtown district guidelines into their development.

Tax Abatement Policy

The City of Friendswood is committed to the promotion of quality development in all parts of the City. On a case-by-case basis, the City will give consideration to providing tax abatement on the increment in value added to a particular property by a specific development proposal, which meets the economic goals and objectives of the City. The tax abatement shall not apply to any portion of the inventory or land value of the project. Tax abatement may be offered on improvements to real property owned by the applicant and/or on new personal property brought to the site by the applicant. Tax abatement will not be ordinarily considered for projects which would be developed without such incentives unless it can be demonstrated that higher development standards or other development and community goals will be achieved through the use of the abatement.

Points of Contact

Karen Capps
City of Friendswood Economic Coordinator
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


City of Friendswood City Hall
910 S. Friendswood Dr.
Friendswood, TX 77456


Downloadable Content

PDF Document  Demographic and Income Profile

PDF Document  Future Land Use Plan Map

PDF Document  Incentives Flyer

PDF Document  New Business Guide

PDF Document  Retail Marketplace Profile

Source of Business and Labor Numbers: The Next Move Group