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Texas Miracle is a three-legged stool. One leg needs replacing.

TAB CEO Glenn Hamer wrote the following Letter to the Editor for the Houston Chronicle.

Regarding "Texas doles out $31 billion in property tax breaks for business as Chapter 313 expires," (Jan. 23): The Texas Miracle is like a three-legged stool. It requires no state income tax, a light regulatory touch and effective economic development incentives. One of the legs, the economic development incentive program, Chapter 313, has been cut off for large capital investments and must be replaced with a modern, more transparent program.

Giving limited tax abatements in the short term – in exchange for long-term tax revenue – makes sense. Look at the many employers that have used this incentive. Their projects not only create high-wage jobs but they're ultimately cash cows for the state, local taxpayers and school districts.

Photo by Mark Felix / Bloomberg

Take Tesla for example. The company moved its headquarters and built a manufacturing facility here in Texas. Without the tax abatement, it’s highly unlikely the plant, which created thousands of jobs and is creating billions in economic output, would have been built here.

The total permanent tax revenue of no investment is zero. No property taxes. No sales taxes. No new jobs. Without a replacement for Chapter 313, we will lose.

It's particularly urgent given some of the federal incentives that are spurring massive new investments in semiconductors and energy projects. Texas leads the country in exports in both areas and overall. Let's keep it that way.

And to those who say there’s no proof that Texas would lose deals without an incentive to attract large capital projects, remember we started the program because that was exactly the case. Don’t repeat history. Replace Chapter 313 with a modern and transparent incentive program.


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