Wage, job requirements slashed for school property tax abatements

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Dick Lavine, Senior Fiscal Analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities

A tax abatement program that already reduces school property tax revenue by $4.2 billion would be expanded and extended by HB 3390, which passed the House on Friday, and SB 1647, which will be debated by the Senate this week.

During the House debate, floor amendments were added that would nearly eliminate all job creation and wage requirements from the program, known as Chapter 313.

Under current law, 80 percent of all new jobs created by a project receiving tax abatements must pay 110 percent of the county’s average wage for manufacturing jobs, with a special exception for projects that create at least 1,000 jobs.  These large projects must pay only the county’s average wage for all jobs, which is frequently only two-thirds of manufacturing wages.

HB 3390, as it passed the House, would apply this lower wage standard to all projects.

In addition, this shrunken wage level would apply only to the required minimum number of jobs — 25 jobs for urban projects; 10 projects for rural projects — rather than to 80 percent of all jobs created by a project.  And if a project invests more than the required minimum amount, even this 25/10 job creation shrinks, eventually disappearing for larger projects.

So what does that state gets for its money?  Few jobs.  At low wages.

HB 3390 and SB1647 cost to much and do too little. For additional details, check out our latest policy page.

 

At the Center for Public Policy Priorities, we believe in a Texas that offers everyone the chance to compete and succeed in life. We envision a Texas where everyone is healthy, well-educated, and financially secure. We want the best Texas - a proud state that sets the bar nationally by expanding opportunity for all. CPPP is an independent public policy organization that uses data and analysis to advocate for solutions that enable Texans of all backgrounds to reach their full potential. We dare Texas to be the best state for hard-working people and their families.

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