Economic Development Incentive Policies

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I just voted to support a policy for rebating taxes to companies considering locating in Travis County. But, I stress that the policy does not give a tax break to all companies moving here. This is a tightly written policy meant to set a high bar for companies seeking preferential tax treatment. Of particular importance is the provision at the end of the “Base Incentives” section that states, “A proposal which meets the above criteria will be considered an eligible project. This establishes initial eligibility but does not ensure the granting of Incentives by Travis County.”  In other words, this is not an entitlement program.

I pledge that I will only give preferential tax treatment to a company that not only meets these eligibility criteria but also sets itself apart from other companies by its uncommon and direct contribution to the public good. Otherwise, every company moving, expanding or considering relocating from here will feel entitled to receive preferential tax treatment in order to re-level the playing field. At that moment this policy will have become a corporate welfare program. We must guard against that moment.

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