TAM Top 10 Policy Priorities

Preserve Property Tax Abatement Authority

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 temporarily abate property taxes for manufacturing and other projects – a must-have incentive considering Texas has some of the highest property taxes in the nation and most states offer similar economic development incentives. Competition for major manufacturing investment is fierce and Texas will lose jobs to other states if Chapter 312 expires. As one Senator put it at a...


Global Economic Competitiveness

TAM supports the work of the special House Committee on Economic Competitiveness and will use its findings to advance economic development legislation in the 2019 session. The committee has concluded its interim hearings on what makes Texas successful economically. The committee heard from top Texas business and civic leaders on real-life experiences in bringing economic development to the state, and they emphasized the importance of state and local incentive programs and workforce/career education as central themes to keep Texas on top.

Jeff Cheney, mayor of Frisco, the...


Equality in Business Taxation

The Texas Legislature reformed the franchise tax over a decade 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 favors 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...


Business Personal Property Tax Reform

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...


Aerospace and Aviation Manufacturing Competitiveness

An August 2017, PricewaterhouseCoopers study shows Texas has dropped from 2nd to 8th in the nation for aerospace and aviation manufacturing competitiveness. The major reasons include tax policies and a workforce skills gap.

General aviation alone accounts for $14.6 billion in total economic impact annually in Texas. Texas could realize a significant increase in aviation jobs, facility expansions and overall economic impact if the legislature addresses the following two tax impediments to job growth and investment:

a) Aerospace & Defense contractors are penalized with...


ERCOT Governance and Stakeholder Process

As ERCOT’s role in electricity costs has increased, manufacturers are increasingly concerned with how ERCOT is governed and the dominance of entities (generators, power marketers, etc.) that benefit directly (i.e., financially) from ERCOT’s decisions. The current governance structure and process slants heavily in favor of these players. Moreover, the sheer volume of meetings and rule changes makes it a challenge for entities such as manufacturers to even monitor, much less participate in, these activities. TAM would support a review of this process to ensure that ratepayers have a...


Protecting PUC Jurisdiction in Non-ERCOT Areas

It is TAM’s position that the Legislature has not authorized entities that are not rate regulated by the Public Utilities Commission (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...


Career and Workforce Education Needs

Dual Credit Courses — both academic & 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.

College, Career and Military Readiness Standards –...


TCEQ Funding

TAM supports giving the 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...


Water Conservation & Supply

Water is the lifeblood of the Texas manufacturing sector, which is the state’s third largest water user. According to the 2017 State Water Plan, the sector’s needs are expected to increase 39 percent from 2020 to 2070. TAM supports Texas water policy that provides for the development of a safe, reliable water supply at a reasonable cost. TAM also supports legislation that eases regulatory access to the state’s surface and groundwater resources, including eliminating unnecessary hurdles or delays in the state’s water rights permitting process.