Lawmakers pass business encouragement law, critics say it will hurt schools

AUSTIN (KXAN) – The Texas legislature passed legislation in the final hours of the legislative session aimed at attracting businesses to Texas and creating high-paying jobs.

The Texas Employment, Energy, Technology, and Innovation Act gives companies tax breaks, but opponents say it’s backed by the state’s students.

Texas’ previous economic development plan, known as Chapter 313, expired in 2022.

The new law It was House Bill 5, replace it. Like its predecessor, it offers businesses and businesses a school property tax discount as an incentive to come to Lone Star State.

Members of the state’s business community and chambers of commerce have broadly supported the move.

Earlier in Congress, Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce President Steve Arlenius told the House Ways and Means Committee, “Without HB 5, we’re at a competitive disadvantage.”

At the same conference, Greater Houston Partnership Chairman Bob Harvey said: decision maker. “

However, not everyone is happy to pass HB5.

“Economic development should be decoupled from school finances and school board decision-making,” said Miles Brandon, Reverend of the Central Texas Interface, HB5’s main opposition group.

Mr. Brandon said a law allowing school districts to give businesses tax breaks on school property taxes would hurt Texas schools.

“Those dollars are in the bank and not in the public school funding system,” he said. “We want everyone to pay their fair share.

Brandon and his group do not support the policy, but they are happy with the change from previous tax breaks that have expired. For example, tax cuts would be halved, governors would be more accountable, including an obligation to sign applications, and school districts that decide tax cuts would not be able to receive funding from businesses.

“So school districts have to really think about it now and think, ‘Is giving this money good for the community?'” he says.

The law also increases the number of jobs businesses must create to qualify.

New incentive packages are only available for certain industries such as manufacturing, technology and oil refining. Renewable energy is not.

https://www.kxan.com/news/texas-politics/lawmakers-pass-business-incentive-law-critics-say-it-hurts-schools/ Lawmakers pass business encouragement law, critics say it will hurt schools

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