Following the expiration of Chapter 313 – that state of Texas’ primary property tax abatement tool – at the end of 2022, stakeholders have been seeking an alternative that would keep Texas competitive with other states for capital intensive economic development projects. Texas captured its 11th consecutive Governor’s Cup award this year, illustrating the Lone Star State’s leadership in economic development. While the state’s track record is to be commended, its future attractiveness for similar projects could be jeopardized without adequate incentive tools.
Thankfully, the last couple of weeks have offered a great deal of momentum.
During a late February visit to Arlington, Governor Abbott stressed the need for Texas to remain competitive for economic development projects. From the Texas Tribune:
“‘Chapter 313 is gone, and that said, there is a desire in the Capitol to make sure Texas does remain No. 1 for economic development,’ Abbott said, ‘and we’re working on — and others in the Capitol are working on — to ensure that we will have economic development tools going forward that may not exactly replicate 313’ but will keep Texas No. 1 for economic development.”
Momentum grew in the Texas House, when Speaker Phelan prioritized passage of an economic development incentive to act as a replacement for Chapter 313. House Bill 5 was filed by Representative Todd Hunter, chair of the powerful State Affairs Committee. The legislation is co-authored by several other influential committee chairs and representatives from both sides of the aisle across all corners of Texas. The bill – which can be read in its entirety here – is light on specifics for now, but can be amended in the coming weeks as lawmakers try to build a consensus.
The apparent momentum is a welcome sign for the continued economic growth and strength of Texas. The Fort Worth Chamber will continue to monitor and engage as needed on behalf of our membership to ensure we remain an attractive place to do business.
Advocacy at Work
The Fort Worth Chamber filed comment with the FTC this week, voicing opposition to its proposed rule banning non-compete agreements. The full comment can be found here.
State and Local