Business Facilities Magazine (BF) released their rankings of states on economic development indicators. Texas was named the state with the best business climate for the fourth time. In their announcement, the staff of Business Facilities Magazine wrote about Austin’s selection over Tulsa, OK for the new Tesla truck factory. The factory is expected to bring 5,000 high paying manufacturing jobs to Travis County, TX.
BF listed a rapidly expanding skilled workforce, solid infrastructure, readily available renewable energy and a vibrant innovation ecosystem among other reasons companies select Texas for new locations. They went on to write:
“If that’s not enough to beat the competition, our friends in Texas will see your offer and raise it with lucrative incentives. When the governor reaches for the big chips in the Texas Enterprise Fund, it’s usually time for the other folks in the game to fold ‘em.
“Just about all of the advantages cited above were in play this month when Austin, TX landed the most coveted project of the year to date: the gigafactory that will produce Tesla’s new Cybertruck, Semi truck and Models 3 and Y. What is expected to be a 5-million-square-foot assembly plant that will employ up to 5,000 workers will rise on a site on the southeastern edge of the Texas capital.
“According to reports, this mega-site selection decision came down to two finalists, Austin and Tulsa, OK. When Travis County (and the local school district) agreed to pony up more than $65 million in tax rebates over 10 years, the deal was sealed.”
For critics of economic development incentives who say the government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers: Texas and our citizens won; Oklahoma lost. For those who think 85% of investments would come to Texas without incentives: the professional economic development watchers at Business Facilities Magazine would tell you this would have been one that got away.
Chapter 313 has to be reauthorized by the legislature this session, or it will go away. As we recover from this pandemic economy, we will need all available tools to bring investment and jobs to Texas. Tell your members of the Texas Legislature to support the reauthorization of Chapter 313.