TAM Top 10 Policy Priorities
One of the most powerful economic development tools in Texas will expire on September 1, 2019 unless the Legislature extends it. Chapter 312 of the Texas Tax Code provides authority for cities and counties to provide temporary property tax exemptions for manufacturing and other projects – a must-have incentive considering Texas has the 4th highest industrial property taxes of any state (65% higher than the national average). Most states and countries offer similar economic development incentives. Competition for major manufacturing investment is fierce and Texas will lose jobs to other...more
Top Texas business and civic leaders regularly testify before House and Senate committees on real-life experiences in bringing economic development to urban and rural communities across the state. Practitioners regularly emphasize the importance of state and local incentive programs and workforce/career education as central themes to keep Texas a global competitor.
Jeff Cheney, Mayor of Frisco, the fastest-growing city in the country, testified that their recent 25-year study shows that for every $1 they have invested in economic development programs, $22 in economic value has been...more
The Texas Legislature reformed the franchise tax over a decade ago to better reflect the modern sectors of the Texas economy, close tax loopholes and to help finance a reduction in the school property tax. Legislative sentiment now continues to 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...more
Some states have completely exempted tangible business personal property from their property tax assessments to grow their economies; Texas is not one of them. Business personal property includes assets that can be moved – furniture, equipment, and inventories. Inventory includes the value of raw materials, finished goods, and supplies or parts that manufacturers need to run their business. Most states have at least done away with taxing inventory – with all but seven, including Texas, still levying a tax on most business inventories.
The taxation of Texas business personal property...more
Aerospace & Defense Federal Contracts – Defense-related aerospace activity is a cornerstone of the modern Texas economy, as 17 of the top 20 firms in the nation have a substantial presence in Texas, and more than 44,000 workers currently earn an average of $100,000 or more annually working in this industry.
However, state franchise tax policy does not align with federal acquisition requirements, putting Texas at a competitive disadvantage versus states that are either better aligned and/or willing to offer stronger economic incentives to attract and...more
Texas is home to the only truly competitive electric market in the world—Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Generation companies in ERCOT are paid only for the energy and real-time reserves they sell, not for simply owning a generator. The competitive market incentivizes top-notch performance from generation companies and has allowed businesses in Texas to thrive with a low-cost, reliable electricity supply. In recent years, old, inefficient and uneconomic generation units have retired, causing a temporary dip in installed capacity. This has encouraged some generation...more
It is TAM’s position that the Legislature has not authorized entities that are not rate regulated by the Texas PUC to construct transmission outside of ERCOT. The PUC recently disagreed with this position and has ruled that the Legislature has authorized such entities to construct transmission outside of ERCOT. The issue revolves around whether the federal government (FERC) or Texas (PUC) regulates the construction and cost of transmission outside of ERCOT. This affects the Entergy, SPS, El Paso, and SWEPCO service areas. TAM’s concern is the lack of proper oversight...more
Dual Credit Courses – Both academic and CTE (career and technical education) courses – must be widely available and affordable to students; reduce the time to degrees or certifications; improve higher education affordability; and be high quality and rigorous. CTE courses should not be conflated with general academic courses and all dual credit must be advised properly by trained and knowledgeable advisors/counselors, who understand both higher education expectations and state and regional workforce needs.
TAM supports giving Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) the money and resources it needs in the legislative appropriations process to ensure that the necessary staff is in place to efficiently process air permits in this state, regardless of whether those permits are in the expedited program.
In 2013, the Texas Legislature passed a bill allowing an applicant for an air permit to request the expedited processing of its application if the applicant can demonstrate that the purpose of the application will benefit the Texas economy. The bill allows TCEQ to charge permit...more
A healthy workforce results in a more productive workforce. Every year thousands of hours are lost due to sick time for students, employees and families. TAM supports efforts for the prevention of infectious disease in the workplace and schools. In the words of Benjamin Franklin: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” TAM supports the assurance of a healthy and productive workforce by eliminating attempts to create barriers and access to vaccinations for employees and communities. The ability for businesses to implement public health policies pertinent to their work...more