Blog by Katie Zarate
Rep. Hugh Shine (R-Temple) knocked it out of the park at the TAB TxLege Breakfast Series.
The first Republican to be elected to the Texas House from Bell County since 1876, Rep. Shine is serving his sixth term for HD 55. He initially came to the Texas Legislature in 1986 after serving on Temple City Council. He left the capitol to focus on his family, business, and military career, returning to the Legislature in 2016. Rep. Shine is a proud military veteran, having spent 30 years serving his state and country. He currently sits on the powerful House Ways & Means Committee as well as the Resolutions Calendars Committee, and the International Relations & Economic Development Committee.
Rep. Shine said it was his experience on the local level that solidified his support for economic development programs. Tools similar to what is being created through House Bill 5 (The Texas Jobs and Security Act) help local governments attract major capital-intensive projects to their communities. The Representative explained the projects not only bring jobs and lasting tax revenue, but also attract ancillary companies to the region. It is a win-win for economic development.
“The Texas Dream is the result of us having tools like this,” Rep. Shine said. That is why he participated in a work group of roughly 60 individuals ahead of HB 5 being filed. The workgroup met continuously throughout the Fall to figure out what worked in previous economic development programs, what didn’t work, and what could work in the future. He underlined that it’s important to get economic development councils, chambers of commerce, lawmakers, and industry experts in the room to benefit from a variety of expertise – and build consensus. “We don’t need to have five or six different versions of a bill. We need negotiation and mutual respect,” Rep. Shine said.
To skeptics of tax abatement tools, Rep. Hugh Shine says to “reconsider.” Talk to your local economic development councils. Follow the details on HB 5. “We are not pursing the same old plan.”
The Representative from Temple also says to remember “zero equals zero.” When Texas loses a company to another state ((due to the lack of a competitive incentive package) the community gains 0% of that tax revenue. There’s not a positive economic impact. On the other hand, if a company chooses to come to Texas, and we give them a temporary tax discount for several years… the community immediately gains new revenue; and then when that temporary abatement period is over; the revenue gets even bigger.
Rep. Shine emphasized the importance of demonstrating respect for one another, regardless of differences, and respect for the legislative process. Disagreements shouldn’t be allowed to disrupt the Legislature from passing good bills for Texans.
TAB CEO Glenn Hamer thanked the Representative for his leadership and dedication to getting a new, modern economic development tool across the finish line this session. He also thanked TAB’s SVP of Policy & Advocacy, Megan Mauro, for her work bringing together chambers of commerce across the state to establish a strong, unified, chamber voice. “HB 5 is our top objective. It creates a new modern transparent economic development incentive that keeps Texas on top,” Glenn Hamer said.
To learn more about the Texas State Chamber’s work on economic development, visit TxBiz.org.