In response to Steve Showalter’s opinion column on April 15, we felt it was important to provide some additional context around the use of Chapter 313 property tax agreements, which are important economic development tools for communities. Calling these tax incentive measures “corporate welfare” is an oversimplification of an essential resource Texas communities can use to remain competitive in a global market.
Due to Texas’ no income tax policy, we have high property taxes. To ease the burden of high property taxes and improve the economics of potential investments, Texas law allows cities and counties to offer temporary tax abatements under Chapter 312 of the Tax Code and school districts to offer lesser benefits under Chapter 313. Since school districts often account for the biggest share of the property tax bill, Chapter 313 is the state’s single most important incentive in its economic development toolbox.