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Texas continues to be the best state for business

This column by TAB CEO Glenn Hamer and Chairman Massey Villarreal was originally published by the San Antonio Express News.

We don’t care what any ranking says: Texas is the best state for business, and it just got better.

Our state’s recent budget surplus allowed for significant property tax relief, benefiting homeowners and businesses. Moreover, our Legislature passed a number of pro-business reforms, further enhancing the state’s economic climate and showing why 1,000 people a day move to the Lone Star State. New employment data showed that Texas continues to lead the nation for jobs created over the past 12 months.

On the other hand, California, the only state comparable to Texas in populace, is steeped in a $32 billion deficit, and a business and population exodus thanks to economic policies that have been proven to fail.

Meanwhile, Gov. Greg Abbott, the heavyweight champion of economic development, can boast about Texas’ $33 billion surplus. About half of that money is being poured into a new property tax plan designed to encourage growth among businesses and boost the economy.

Two crucial aspects of this tax reform will provide extensive fiscal relief to smaller and medium-size companies. First, the exemption threshold for the state franchise tax doubled from $1.24 million to $2.47 million, removing approximately 67,000 businesses from franchise tax rolls.

Texas is also helping its residents achieve a higher quality of life through an $18 billion property tax cut for all homeowners and businesses. An affordable and stable housing market also incentivizes individuals to relocate to Texas, expanding our labor force.

During the most recent session, Texas passed bills to further bolster our economic community, such as HB 5, also known as the Texas Jobs & Security Act, authored by Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, and signed by Abbott. Its purpose is to create more jobs, investments and tax revenue by incentivizing powerhouse companies to relocate or expand in Texas through extensive property tax relief.

Furthermore, the Legislature made historic investments in water, infrastructure, broadband, space, semiconductor and workforce programs.

In a move to ensure businesses operating throughout the state can do so efficiently, the Legislature passed the Texas Regulatory and Consistency Act to eliminate the patchwork quilt of regulations in Texas. A company operating in our state should not have to comply with a different set of rules in each city or county.

We also saw the creation of business courts within our state under HB 19. This addition to Texas’ litigation landscape will improve judicial efficiency in the business sector while attracting companies to establish a presence here by creating a favorable environment for resolving commercial disputes.

This year marks the Lone Star State’s 19th year as Chief Executive Magazine’s Best State for Business, as declared by an annual survey of the country’s top CEOs. Likewise, Site Selection Magazine awarded Texas the esteemed Governor’s Cup for an unprecedented 11th year because it had the highest number of expansion and relocation projects nationwide.

Texas is already the best state for business, jobs and opportunity. Reforms and new policies will only improve Texas’ business environment and quality of life, and help develop the next generation of Texan innovators and entrepreneurs.

Massey Villarreal is the chairman of the Texas Association of Business. Glenn Hamer is the CEO of the Texas Association of Business.


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