economic incentives http://kut.org en National Instruments Cancels Project That Would Have Created 1,000 Jobs http://kut.org/post/national-instruments-cancels-project-would-have-created-1000-jobs <p><a href="http://www.ni.com/company/" style="line-height: 1.5;">National Instruments</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> is cancelling a project that would have created 1,000 jobs in Austin over a decade.</span></p><p>The $80 million expansion project of NI's headquarters <a href="https://plus.google.com/105762292728267085318/about?gl=us&amp;hl=en">on North&nbsp;Mopac Boulevard</a>&nbsp;received millions in economic incentives from the city, county and state. All those agreements have also been canceled.</p><p>"We want to continue to leverage our investments and drive for growth," National Instruments spokesperson&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Stacy Schmidt says. "</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But in the current economy and the challenges in the test and measurement industry, we're choosing not to move forward at this time."</span></p><p> Tue, 10 Jun 2014 00:48:37 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10567 at http://kut.org National Instruments Cancels Project That Would Have Created 1,000 Jobs Austin OKs Economic Incentives for Dropbox, Websense (Update) http://kut.org/post/austin-oks-economic-incentives-dropbox-websense-update <p><strong>Update</strong>:&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Dropbox and Websense will receive economic incentives to expand in Austin.</span></p><p>The Austin City Council voted 5-2 today to offer the two tech companies approximately $700,000 in incentives.&nbsp;The money comes on top of $6 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund.&nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 22:54:39 +0000 Andrew Huygen & Trey Shaar 9752 at http://kut.org Austin OKs Economic Incentives for Dropbox, Websense (Update) Austin City Council Votes to Lower Occupancy Limits http://kut.org/post/austin-city-council-votes-lower-occupancy-limits <p class="p1">The Austin City Council had a long day at the dais yesterday, with a meeting that sputtered along for the better part of 15 hours.</p><p class="p1">"Stealth dorms," fee waivers, economic incentives, an officer-involved shooting, the MoPac sound wall and&nbsp; even a proclamation for KUT's own Cactus Cafe.&nbsp;</p><p class="p1">With that in mind, here's a rundown of the council action, and inaction, from yesterday.</p><p> Fri, 14 Feb 2014 16:13:14 +0000 KUT Staff 9784 at http://kut.org Austin City Council Votes to Lower Occupancy Limits City Council Approves Athenahealth Incentives Deal - But Not Unanimously http://kut.org/post/city-council-approves-athenahealth-incentives-deal-not-unanimously <p>Last night the Austin City Council approved a deal that offers nearly $680,000 dollars in incentives for <a href="http://www.athenahealth.com/">athenahealth</a> to expand in Austin. The grant will be offered in addition to a $5 million subsidy from Gov. Rick Perry's <a href="http://governor.state.tx.us/ecodev/financial_resources/texas_enterprise_fund/">Texas Enterprise Fund</a>.</p><p>But not everyone is happy with the deal. Some council members argue that the city’s booming economy doesn’t need to offer subsidies to bring business to Austin. (The deal passed on a 5-2 vote, with city council members Laura Morrison and Kathie Tovo voting no.)</p><p><a href="http://www.infactdaily.com/">Austin Monitor</a> publisher Michael&nbsp;Kanin&nbsp;says that this debate is heating up as council members become increasingly divided on the issue of business incentives.</p><p> Fri, 31 Jan 2014 17:45:55 +0000 Phoebe Flanigan 9688 at http://kut.org City Council Approves Athenahealth Incentives Deal - But Not Unanimously Rick Perry's War On The Blue States http://kut.org/post/gov-perrys-war-blue-states <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1izHVRxv7Y</p> Wed, 12 Jun 2013 14:47:02 +0000 Elise Hu 8090 at http://kut.org Rick Perry's War On The Blue States How Many 'Austin Bashing' Bills Made It Out of the Lege? (Update) http://kut.org/post/how-many-austin-bashing-bills-made-it-out-lege-update <p><strong>Update</strong>: The legislative session <a href="http://www.tlc.state.tx.us/gtli/sessions/dates.html">adjourns Monday</a> – and Austin City Council members can breathe a collective sigh of relief.</p><p>All of the bills below disappeared into the legislative black hole – that is, they either never made it out of committee, or were never cleared for a vote.</p><p><strong>Update&nbsp;</strong>(March 26): Here’s some additional bills that meet the Austin City Council’s definition of “Austin bashing” – legislation that would&nbsp;defang&nbsp;local policies.</p><ul><li><strong><a href="http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/83R/billtext/html/HB01858I.htm">HB&nbsp;1858</a>,&nbsp;Rep. Paul Workman (R-Austin)</strong></li></ul><p>The bill would ban cities from restricting the removal of trees if a developer or land owner deems the tree to be a fire hazard.&nbsp;Opponents worry the bill provides a work-around the city’s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=134292">Heritage Tree Ordinance</a>, and point to an additional piece of Workman legislation,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/83R/billtext/pdf/HB03087I.pdf#navpanes">HB&nbsp;3087</a>, as creating additional development loopholes for removing trees.</p><p> Fri, 24 May 2013 18:54:45 +0000 Andrew Weber & Wells Dunbar 7005 at http://kut.org How Many 'Austin Bashing' Bills Made It Out of the Lege? (Update) Five Smaller, Stranger Events That Tapped Texas' Events Trust Fund http://kut.org/post/five-smaller-stranger-events-tapped-texas-events-trust-fund <p></p><p>Texas’ official motto is “friendship.” And the state’s long drawn on its welcoming ways to attract tourism and convention crowds from all over.</p><p>One example of Texas hospitality is its event trust funds: the Major Events Trust Fund and the Events Trust Fund. (And that’s not counting the Motor Sports Events Trust Fund and the Special Events Trust Fund.)</p><p> Wed, 10 Apr 2013 18:45:00 +0000 Andrew Weber 7238 at http://kut.org Five Smaller, Stranger Events That Tapped Texas' Events Trust Fund At the Capitol: Three Bills Gov. Perry Should Be Watching Today http://kut.org/post/capitol-three-bills-gov-perry-should-be-watching-today <p>Three bills related to Gov. Rick Perry are getting a vetting today.</p><p>The Texas Senate is set to hear two bills scrutinizing the use of money from the Texas Enterprise Fund. The Texas Enterprise Fund is Perry’s economic development program that gives taxpayer money to private business. Some Austin recipients include <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/city-council-gets-first-bite-apple-incentives-agreement">Apple</a> and <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/council-approves-15m-incentives-visa">Visa</a>.</p><p> Wed, 10 Apr 2013 14:05:00 +0000 Austin Feldman 7291 at http://kut.org At the Capitol: Three Bills Gov. Perry Should Be Watching Today Bill Lets College Football Playoffs Tap Major Events Trust Fund http://kut.org/post/bill-lets-college-football-playoffs-tap-major-events-trust-fund <p>Public subsidies could attract college football playoffs to Texas.</p><p>A public hearing will be held Thursday on a <a href="http://www.legis.state.tx.us/Search/DocViewer.aspx?K2DocKey=odbc%3a%2f%2fTLO%2fTLO.dbo.vwCurrBillDocs%2f83%2fR%2fH%2fB%2f01019%2f1%2fB%40TloCurrBillDocs&amp;QueryText=hb+1019&amp;HighlightType=1">bill</a> that would modify the language of the major event trust fund to include the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) football post-season playoff or championship game. Thu, 07 Mar 2013 14:34:58 +0000 Marissa Barnett 6864 at http://kut.org Bill Lets College Football Playoffs Tap Major Events Trust Fund Austin’s Economic Incentive Payments: $19 Million & Counting http://kut.org/post/austin-s-economic-incentive-payments-19-million-counting <p>Austin got a look at the return on its investments Thursday.&nbsp;</p><p>The city currently has 11 active economic incentive agreements in place – deals with companies like <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/council-approves-15m-incentives-visa">Visa</a> and <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/council-approves-apple-incentives-deal">Apple</a> stipulating that as long as a company meets negotiated hiring and spending goals, they’ll receive annual benefits from the city, often in the form of tax breaks.&nbsp; Total incentives, if honored over the course of their entirety, <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/557232-egrso-annual-economic-development-report.html#document/p8">approach $73 million</a>.</p><p> Fri, 18 Jan 2013 10:40:00 +0000 Wells Dunbar 6238 at http://kut.org Austin’s Economic Incentive Payments: $19 Million & Counting Survey: Texas an 'Oasis' for Businesses, Austin Shows 'Overall Friendliness' http://kut.org/post/survey-texas-oasis-businesses-austin-shows-overall-friendliness <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Texas has been courting businesses for some time now, attracting</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;job creators and corporations to the state in droves.</span></p><p>State and <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/council-approves-15m-incentives-visa">city officials have lured</a> corporations in with sales tax incentives. That's prompted accusations of <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/incentives-business-scrutinized-texas">corporate welfare</a> and <a href="http://www.texastribune.org/2012/11/19/f1-race-over-not-debate-about-tax-breaks/">ill-gotten subsidies</a>, but the state’s dance card is full when it comes to reeling in businesses. In fact, the state’s attracted more businesses than most.</p><p> Tue, 15 Jan 2013 18:59:06 +0000 Andrew Weber 6190 at http://kut.org Survey: Texas an 'Oasis' for Businesses, Austin Shows 'Overall Friendliness' Council OKs F1 Track Team’s Bid to Tap Texas Trust Fund http://kut.org/post/council-oks-f1-track-team-s-bid-tap-texas-trust-fund <p>The promoters behind Austin’s Formula 1 racetrack may tap a state trust fund for more than F1. The Austin City Council authorized the team at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) to act on the city’s behalf in negotiating payments from the state’s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texasahead.org/tax_programs/event_fund/metf.php">Major Events Trust Fund</a>.</p><p>The payments would be for four upcoming races, with the first scheduled for this spring. COTA's promotions group just&nbsp;<a href="http://kutnews.org/post/f1-organizers-get-293-million-state-comptroller">received more than $29 million</a>&nbsp;from the trust fund to help pay for costs associated with putting on November’s F1 event.</p><p> Fri, 14 Dec 2012 14:28:39 +0000 Wells Dunbar 5908 at http://kut.org Council OKs F1 Track Team’s Bid to Tap Texas Trust Fund Calls for Reform of Incentive Programs Grow Louder http://kut.org/post/calls-reform-incentive-programs-grow-louder <p>The Texas approach to doling out financial incentives to businesses faced fire on multiple fronts Tuesday, adding momentum to calls for broad reform of the state’s economic development programs.</p><p>In the Capitol, the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/commit/c525/c525.htm">Senate Economic Development Committee</a>&nbsp;discussed adding more transparency and accountability to the state’s patchwork of incentive programs and heard support from attendees for such reforms.</p><p> Wed, 12 Dec 2012 16:05:26 +0000 Aman Batheja, Texas Tribune 5886 at http://kut.org Calls for Reform of Incentive Programs Grow Louder Incentives for Business Scrutinized in Texas http://kut.org/post/incentives-business-scrutinized-texas <p>The billions of dollars in incentives that Texas hands out to businesses each year are set to draw fresh scrutiny this week on the heels of a&nbsp;<em>New York Times</em>&nbsp;series that raised new questions about the practice while also ruffling some feathers.</p><p>On December 3, the<em>&nbsp;Times</em>&nbsp;devoted&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/03/us/winners-and-losers-in-texas.html">Part 2</a>&nbsp;of its three-part&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/02/us/how-local-taxpayers-bankroll-corporations.html">“United States of Subsidies” </a><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/02/us/how-local-taxpayers-bankroll-corporations.html">series</a>&nbsp;to Texas. The article alleged that the state gives out $19.1 billion a year in business incentives, far more than any other state.&nbsp;(Disclosure: The Texas Tribune has a content partnership with&nbsp;<em>The New York Times</em>.)</p><p> Tue, 11 Dec 2012 16:35:47 +0000 Aman Batheja, Texas Tribune 5871 at http://kut.org Incentives for Business Scrutinized in Texas Council Approves $1.5M in Incentives for Visa http://kut.org/post/council-approves-15m-incentives-visa <p>The Austin City Council unanimously<a href="http://austin.siretechnologies.com/sirepub/cache/2/ntjo2x45j3zp4545gjfnqwa2/39074812072012053729353.PDF" target="_blank"> approved a deal</a> that offers the Visa credit card company about $1.5 million to bring<a href="http://kutnews.org/post/visa-plans-800-new-jobs-austin" target="_blank"> almost 800 jobs to the area</a>.</p><p>The city’s received some criticism for offering big companies these incentives. A council committee has been talking about adding a provision that would require companies seeking incentives to meet a minimum wage requirement of $11 an hour. While Visa doesn’t have to meet those requirements, yesterday they offered to anyway. Fri, 07 Dec 2012 13:28:45 +0000 Laura Rice 5845 at http://kut.org Council Approves $1.5M in Incentives for Visa Visa Plans 800 New Jobs in Austin http://kut.org/post/visa-plans-800-new-jobs-austin <p>Credit card company Visa says it will build a new IT center in Austin, bringing almost 800 jobs to the area within five years.</p><p>Texas Governor Rick Perry announced the project this afternoon.</p><p>Perry is using $7.9 million dollars from the Texas Enterprise Fund to entice Visa to Austin.</p><p>The city will kick in about $1.5 million over 10 years, according to <a href="http://kut.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/ED-Proposal-Summary-Visa.pdf">a memo</a> released by the city's Economic Growth and Redevelopment Services Office.</p> Wed, 21 Nov 2012 21:49:32 +0000 Matt Largey 5708 at http://kut.org Visa Plans 800 New Jobs in Austin Commissioners Approve Tax Break to Lure Company to Austin http://kut.org/post/commissioners-approve-tax-break-lure-company-austin <p><a href="http://www.co.travis.tx.us/commissioners_court/agendas/voting_session_agenda.asp" target="_blank">Travis County Commissioners</a> voted four to one this morning in favor of <a href="http://www.co.travis.tx.us/commissioners_court/agendas/2012/10/backup/item_backup_20121009/vs20121009_item_21.pdf" target="_blank">providing economic incentives</a> to HID Global. The company makes ID cards and key-card readers.</p><p><a href="http://www.hidglobal.com/" target="_blank">HID Global</a> is looking at building a manufacturing and distribution center in Northeast Austin. It would create more than 270 jobs over 10 years. In return, the county would give the company at least a 40 percent discount on county taxes over that time.</p><p>County Commissioner Ron Davis represents the area including Northeast Austin.</p><p>“I just think it’s overall a big deal all across the community and I think it’s a win, win, win, win, win, win-type situation for all of us," said Davis.&nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 09 Oct 2012 19:31:35 +0000 Laura Rice 5286 at http://kut.org Commissioners Approve Tax Break to Lure Company to Austin Travis County Commissioners Voting On Tax Increase http://kut.org/post/travis-county-commissioners-voting-tax-increase <p>Travis County Commissioners will vote today on a <a href="http://www.co.travis.tx.us/planning_budget/press_releases/tax_rate_vote_20120925.asp" target="_blank">property tax increase</a>. The proposed rate would increase from 48.55 cents to 50.01 cents per $100 of taxable value.</p><p>The county says the new tax rate will increase total tax revenues from properties on the tax roll in the preceding year by nearly three percent.</p><p>Commissioners will <a href="http://www.co.travis.tx.us/commissioners_court/agendas/vscurrent_official.pdf" target="_blank">also hear public comment</a> on offering economic incentives to HID Global, which is considering building a manufacturing and distribution center in Northeast Austin.</p><p>The State of Texas is <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/city-state-considering-incentives-agreement-id-company" target="_blank">already offering HID Global</a> $1.9 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund. And the <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/council-consider-incentive-plan-hid-global" target="_blank">City of Austin is considering</a> offering the company close to a million dollars in rebates on taxes for real estate and equipment purchases. The city plans to <a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/department/city-council/council-meetings" target="_blank">hold a public hearing</a> on the issue Sept. 27.</p><p> Tue, 25 Sep 2012 13:44:15 +0000 Laura Rice 5150 at http://kut.org Travis County Commissioners Voting On Tax Increase AM Update: Texas Primaries Finally Arrive, Fatal SMU Standoff, County Commissioners Meet http://kut.org/post/am-update-texas-primaries-finally-arrive-fatal-smu-standoff-county-commissioners-meet <p><strong>Polls Open for 2012 Texas Primaries</strong></p><p>After being pushed back repeatedly, the Texas primary elections are here.</p><p>Voters in the Republican and Democratic primaries will nominate candidates for offices ranging from the President and U.S. Senate to county positions like District Attorney and Tax Assessor-Collector. &nbsp;You can view the parties&rsquo; <a href="http://www.co.travis.tx.us/county_clerk/election/20120529/sample.asp">sample ballots online</a>.</p><p>Polls opened at 7 a.m., and although early voting numbers have been low, Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade is hoping for <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/top-election-official-optimistic-turnout">a higher election day turnout</a>.</p><p> Tue, 29 May 2012 13:23:59 +0000 Wells Dunbar 4339 at http://kut.org AM Update: Texas Primaries Finally Arrive, Fatal SMU Standoff, County Commissioners Meet City Council Preview: Welcome Back - Now Here's 145 Items http://kut.org/post/city-council-preview-welcome-back-now-heres-145-items <p>The break&rsquo;s over: City Council reconvenes this Thursday with a&nbsp;<a href="http://austin.siretechnologies.com/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=217&amp;doctype=agenda">141 item-long agenda</a>. (Oh, and&nbsp;<a href="https://austin.siretechnologies.com/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=252&amp;doctype=agenda">a four-item addendum</a>.)</p><p>As the&nbsp;<a href="http://kutnews.org/term/city-council-elections-0">recent city elections</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://kutnews.org/post/feds-may-cover-half-550-million-urban-rail-line">plans for an urban rail system</a>&nbsp;have preoccupied council members&rsquo; time, we&rsquo;ve prepared a crib sheet for this Thursday&rsquo;s long slog. (You&rsquo;re welcome!)</p><p><strong>Green Waters Run Deep</strong>: Certain&nbsp; to generate ample discussion at the meeting is Item 12, the sale of the former Green Water Treatment Plant site downtown, along Cesar Chavez Street, to developer Trammel Crow.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 23 May 2012 16:17:08 +0000 Ana Gonzalez, Jerusalen Garcia Jordan & Wells Dunbar 4301 at http://kut.org City Council Preview: Welcome Back - Now Here's 145 Items