TAM Top 10

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TAM Top 10 Policy Priorities

Preserve Authority to Offer Limited, Temporary Property Tax Discounts

One of the most powerful economic development tools in Texas will expire on December 31, 2022 unless the Legislature extends it. Chapter 313 of the Texas Tax Code, the authority for school districts to offer limited, temporary property tax discounts for purposes of economic development, will again be debated this session. Capital-intensive industrial projects are highly sought after around the world for their large tax base wealth and high-paying jobs. Chapter 313, or a successor program that works to the same goals, is a must-have incentive, considering that Texas is among the top five...


Pandemic Liability Reform

Members of Texas’ congressional delegation have previously made clear that any future pandemic relief legislation should include liability protections for business that operate during a pandemic. In fact, Texas Senator John Cornyn has drafted the SAFE TO WORK Act, legislation that would “temporarily limit liability for COVID-19 exposure claims for frontline workers like nurses, doctors, teachers, and small business owners as long as they are following...


Equality in Business Taxation

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...


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 Texas business personal property...


Transportation & Critical Infrastructure

Manufacturing plants are energy intensive operations and require well-orchestrated logistics to receive raw materials and supplies and then ship finished products to customers worldwide. These activities require an ever-expanding network of transportation infrastructure, including pipelines, utility rights-of-way, highway and rail corridors, etc. that are the vital arteries necessary in sustaining these operations.

Eminent domain legislation filed last session was concerning to anyone interested in keeping our infrastructure network functioning efficiently and sustaining the quality...


Preserve ERCOT’s Competitive Wholesale Market

Texas is home to the only truly competitive electric market in the world, within the 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, low natural gas prices and increased renewable generation development has caused old, inefficient, and uneconomic generation units to retire,...


Ensure Transparency and Oversight of Monopoly Utility Rates

Electricity is a top three production cost for most manufacturers. Regulated monopoly utilities continue to push for “rate riders” that let them increase rates quickly, with very limited review. These rate riders disadvantage utility customers because they don’t provide a full picture of what a utility is earning before allowing another rate increase. In particular, riders often fail to account for cost reductions or increase revenues since the utility’s last full rate case. This can cause utilities to over-earn, forcing Texas businesses to pay more than they should for electricity....


Career and Workforce Readiness

TAM supports flexible yet rigorous pathways in K-12 public schools and higher education, recognizing there are many routes to success. Texas’ education system must be aligned to prepare students to meet the diverse and evolving needs of employers. TAM supports strong career and technical education (CTE) in all Texas school districts, not only because CTE students graduate high school at higher rates, but because these programs play an integral role in introducing both careers and industries to students who might not be exposed to them otherwise. TAM supports a strong system of career,...


TCEQ Regulations and Funding

TAM supports the use of clear and consistent regulations by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). These regulations should have a market-driven and incentive-based foundation rather than heavy-handed mandates or a one-size-fits-all approach. We support increased inspections at manufacturing facilities and the agency’s ability to hire additional inspectors. We believe inspections should be consistent from region to region across the state. Additionally, TAM continues to support TCEQ’s funding of the Expedited Permitting Program. We believe all permits should be processed in...


School and Workplace Health

A healthy workforce results in a more productive workforce. As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we are reminded of how quickly our global economy can be impacted due to illness — resulting in slowed manufacturing, the inability to get goods to consumers, job losses and lost tax revenue. Every year thousands of productive hours are lost due to sick time for students, employees and families. TAM supports efforts to prevent 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...