Resources

TAM Top 10 Issues

Maintain Competitive Pro-Growth Jobs & Tax Wealth Policies

Texas industries pay among the highest property tax rates in the country. In fact, Texas industrial property taxes are the 2nd highest in the nation (Michigan is highest). It is critical that our state and local governments maintain a robust property tax abatement incentive program to attract major capital investment projects to our state. Recent legislative criticism of economic development incentives (such as Chapter 312 and 313) is misguided and threatens to curtail quality job growth and discourage high tax value plants from locating or expanding existing facilities...

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Competitive Truck Weight Reform

Many U.S. states and other countries allow heavier weight trucks, like those transporting export containers, to operate in special zones and on certain highways. These trucks, which are currently prohibited in Texas, are equipped with an additional axle to avoid road damage and to enhance safety by distributing the weight of the payload. To remain economically competitive, Texas should allow for flexibility to accommodate this type of truck shipments. If our communities are to benefit from the planned expansion of the Panama Canal and other port expansions, the need for this...

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Career & College Education Reform Implementation

To help high school students effectively transition to careers and/or college, state education leaders, industry, the Texas Workforce Commission, community colleges, universities and regional school service centers must better coordinate the implementation of work skills curriculum and programs related to career and technical education. This effort should be formalized and made a permanent aspect of HB 5 implementation. More career counselor training is needed to provide better guidance to students who need help reviewing options for successful careers and/or college...

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Transparency & Fairness in Eminent Domain Laws

Critical infrastructure like roads, electricity transmission lines, water systems and pipelines are essential to all communities. Whenever private property is used for a project to benefit the general population, the U.S. Constitution requires that landowners be fairly compensated. In the vast majority of instances, landowners along a proposed route of a project agree to sell their easement to the entity building the project for fair market value. Eminent domain may be used, often as a last resort, in the rare event that the entity and landowner do not reach an...

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Mitigate Major Electricity Rate Hikes

Manufacturers are by far the largest consumers of electricity in the State of Texas. The rising cost of energy plays a pivotal role in capital investment location decisions across the nation and the globe. The cost increases associated with EPA’s Clean Power Plan are expected to rise as high as $15 billion annually in Texas by 2030, according to expert testimony delivered to the Texas Public Utility Commission. The EPA’s plan not only increases the cost of electricity, but also threatens reliability by forcing retirement of significant power generation across the state....

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Oppose Property Tax Value Shifts to Industry

Texas industries today pay 63% of all state taxes, while the national average is 45%. Shifting an even higher tax burden to business will further hinder our ability to create or maintain jobs. During the next legislative session, when Texas Senate leaders focus on property tax relief, they may likely focus on residential and small business tax reduction. That was certainly the case during the 2015 session. Expected proposals may include reducing the allowed maximum appraisal value increases on homes from the present 10% down to 5% each year. This proposal will shift tax...

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Equality in Business Taxation

The Texas Legislature reformed the franchise tax 10 years ago to better reflect the more recent sectors of the Texas economy, close tax loopholes and to help finance a reduction in the school property tax. Legislative sentiment now may favor a phase-out or repeal of the franchise tax. TAM opposes exempting favored businesses from the tax if doing so leaves others to shoulder the entire burden. Moreover, TAM points out that because the franchise tax is low, broad and is not imposed on employment or investment, reducing or eliminating the tax is not likely to produce significant economic...

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Business Inventory Tax Reform

Texas is one of only 9 states with a business inventory tax, which taxes the value of raw materials, finished goods, supplies and parts that manufacturers need to run a business. The business inventory tax forces many companies to store the materials they need outside of Texas. TAM successfully advocated for inventory tax relief to the aerospace industry in the 2013 session through a longer-term extension of the Freeport Exemption. However, all industries need tax relief on raw materials, supplies, spare parts, and finished goods awaiting transit to...

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Water Supply & Conservation

Over the last several years, drought pushed some industries and public water supplies to near-crisis levels in many parts of the state. Texas water laws should continue to promote conservation and sensible regulation of the state’s most important natural resource. Incentives and free-market forces should be used to encourage innovations that will make Texas more efficient and water-smart. Property tax incentives could be offered on conservation equipment installed to maximize limited supplies in various regions of the State.

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Pro-Growth Policy for Aerospace Jobs

Texas’ aircraft and aerospace industry remains at an economic disadvantage to most other states. 26 other states have a sales tax exemption for aircraft parts and labor. Texas laws limit the exemption to “commercial carriers” only, which excludes many Texas aerospace employers. Most general aviation aircraft must leave Texas for maintenance service and other work, taking high-paying aviation jobs to those other states, as well. General aviation alone accounts for $14.6 billion in total economic impact annually in Texas. Combined with business inventory tax reforms,...

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