April 5, 2021      4:30 PM
Effort to overhaul tax incentives for business relocations draws mixed reactions
Many school leaders oppose the bill by Rep. Jim Murphy, but Murphy argues changes are needed: “When it comes to capital-intensive projects, we are non-competitive”
An effort to simplify one of the state’s major incentive
programs – Chapter 313 – has minimized the role of school
districts and consultants to the point where many school leaders who came to
the Capitol to testify opposed House Bill 1556.
Chapter 313, which is set to expire, has shepherded $217
billion worth of investment with $35 billion still in the pipeline. Those who
are advocating for it have taken two approaches: to extend it another 10 years
or to reform it.
bill by Rep. Jim Murphy, R-Houston would reform the program, and
some of those reforms, like more transparent formulas, even please critics such
as senior fiscal analyst Dick Lavine of Every Texan, the
group formerly known as the Center for Public Policy Priorities.
The goal of the program, Murphy told his peers on the House
Ways & Means Committee, has been to decrease the liability of property
taxes in a state that is firmly opposed to a personal
“When it comes to business climate, we rank 45th
for property taxes. Only four states have a higher business property tax burden
than Texas,” Murphy said. “When it comes to capital-intensive projects, we are
That’s why Texas offers Chapter
313, Murphy said.
By Kimberly Reeves