AUSTIN— Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation published the research paper Purpose-Driven Economic Development: A Guide to Reforming Chapters 312 and 313.

“In the last few legislative sessions, Texans have risen up to demand greater transparency in local government,” said Jess Fields, senior researcher with the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “One notable area that lacks action, however, is economic development. Legislators should ask why our localities and school districts award millions in benefits to companies that do not create jobs. If economic development is to continue in any form in Texas, let it be in a form that taxpayers can hold accountable for results.”

If local officials looking to expand their tax base can play by reasonable rules set forth by the state, taxpayers can be protected and lawmakers are more likely to continue the longstanding institution of economic development incentives.

“Without meaningful reform, Chapters 312 and 313 will continue to benefit big businesses at the expense of Texans,” said Cutter González, energy project campaign manager at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “This research stresses the need for redirection if legislators refuse to allow the programs to expire.”

Key Points:

  • Transparency is lacking in how local governments report and handle Chapters 312 and 313.
  • Some allowable uses for 312 and 313 do not create many jobs at all and should be eliminated.
  • Reforms to 312 and 313 should empower local governments and the state of Texas to hold beneficiaries of 312 and 313 agreements accountable.

To read the paper in full, please visit: