Houston Chronicle Editorial: Texans need more information on wasteful ‘313’ corporate welfare program – not less

Houston Chronicle
Originally published Dec. 10, 2021

There’s a reason Texas lawmakers, Republican and Democrat, got rid of the biggest corporate welfare program in Texas. …

Chapter 313, as it’s known, is a $10 billion boondoggle. The program let wealthy corporations keep a portion of their property values off school district tax rolls for a decade, when property values are often at their peak. It was rife with abuse — some companies claimed they needed tax incentives to lure them to Texas when in fact they’d already broken ground on their Texas projects. It was poorly regulated, with lax standards and oversight, allowing companies to enjoy subsidies even if they failed to deliver on the number of jobs or competitive pay promised to Texas. … the paper trail was publicly available by way of disclosure forms that companies were required to submit, records kept by the Texas Comptroller’s Office and a spreadsheet the agency produced that was the only source of centralized data on the 313 agreements.

But now, that paper trail is in danger of hitting a dead end.

Read the full editorial here.