CTI, Texas IAF Underscore Lasting Consequences of Chapter 313 Subsidies


"In December, legislators killed a controversial tax abatement program known as Chapter 313, but its effects will last decades....

“There’s no accountability at the statewide level; nobody administers it,” said Bob Fleming, an organizer with [T]he Metropolitan Organization of Houston who campaigned against Chapter 313 reauthorization back in 2021. “A bunch of local school districts make singular decisions based on what they think is in their interest. Nobody is looking out for the statewide interest. Local school districts are overmatched when the $2,000 suits walk into the room.” ....

“It’s a perverse incentive,” said Doug Greco, lead organizer at Central Texas Interfaith, one of the organizations that helped shut down reauthorization of Chapter 313 in the 2021 legislative session.

“We approach it on a school funding basis,” said Greco, who is already gearing up to fight any Chapter 313 renewal efforts in 2023. “It’s corporate welfare and the people who pay over time are Texas school districts.” ....


At Urging of CTI, AISD Board Rejects Chapter 313 Tax Break for NXP


"The Austin ISD school board has voted against a multi-million dollar tax break for NXP, a semiconductor company... 

"It is not fair that those who have the greatest ability to pay are the ones who don't want to pay a dime," Rev. Minerva Camarena Skeith of Central Texas Interfaith said. 

The tax break called the appraised value limitation, or 313 agreement, lets potential businesses build property and create jobs in exchange for a 10-year limit on the taxable property value for school district maintenance and operation. 

"We want more dollars for AISD and for every school district in this state. We want every child to have every opportunity they need," Rev. Miles Brandon with Central Texas Interfaith said."

Austin ISD School Board Rejects Tax Break for Semiconductor CompanyFox 7 Austin

Austin ISD School Board Denies Tax Break for Semiconductor Company NXP with Narrow VoteKVUE ABC

Austin ISD Board Considers Chapter 313 Tax Break for Semiconductor Company NXPKVUE ABC

NXP Fails to Gain School District Tax Incentives for Possible Factory ExpansionAustin Business Journal

With Weeks to Spare, Austin ISD to Vote on NXP IncentivesAustin Business Journal

AISD Board to Vote on Contested Tax Breaks for Billion-Dollar Semiconductor CompanyKXAN

Central Texas Interfaith Commends AISD Board for Rejecting Chapter 313 Deal with NXP, Central Texas Interfaith [pdf]



Central Texas Interfaith Ramps Up Pressure on Austin ISD Board as Chapter 313 Deadline Looms

As the December 31st expiration date for final certification of Chapter 313 tax break applications approaches, Central Texas Interfaith calls on the state comptroller's office to not rush into certifying the nearly 200 potential project applications still in the pipeline, including Samsung and NXP.  The looming deadline does not give nearly enough time for school boards and community members to properly evaluate any more deals.  It is time to turn the page.  

[Excerpts from Austin Business Journal and Austin America Statesman]

"A vote has been delayed on whether to grant NXP Semiconductors NV property tax abatements that could aid its expansion of manufacturing facilities in Austin, edging the request very close to an end-of-year deadline...

The looming loss of the program has been lamented by many members of the business community, but because it limits public school property taxes, Chapter 313 has been opposed by some community organizations, including [Central Texas Interfaith, formerly known as] Austin Interfaith. 'While we want economic development and good jobs in Central Texas, Chapter 313 prohibits school boards from requiring high living wage and worker safety standards as part of these agreements, unlike city and county incentives in which good job standards can be negotiated,' Central Texas Interfaith and other progressive groups said in a Nov. 17 statement calling for AISD trustees to vote against the deal."


"With the expiration of Chapter 313 fast approaching, representatives of Central Texas Interfaith, an organization that has opposed the program because of its impact on statewide school funding, said the comptroller's office shouldn't be rushed into certifying the applications in the remaining backlog, 'given the billions of taxpayer dollars that are at stake.'

In addition, 'any application certified at this point (almost at Thanksgiving) does not give local taxpayers and school boards nearly enough time to properly deliberate and make decisions on these decades long obligations,' said the Rev. Miles Brandon, clergy leader with Central Texas Interfaith. 'It's time to turn the page on this failed program.'

Central Texas Interfaith and other critics of Chapter 313 have said the program has slipshod oversight and guidelines, calling it a mechanism for taxpayer-funded giveaways to corporations at the expense of statewide funding for education."

[Photo Credit: Arnold Wells, Austin Business Journal]

Decision on NXP's Chapter 313 incentives in Austin Coming Down to the WireAustin Business Journal [pdf]

As End of Texas Tax Break Looms, Fate Unclear for Billions in Potential ProjectsAustin American Statesman [pdf]