Legislative Update – Texas Schools for Economic Development – January 25, 2021

With a little help from your friends at TSED

Welcome to a New Year, a new school semester, and a new Texas state legislative session – one that is critical to all districts that hold 313 Agreements.  TSED has two goals for this legislative session:

  • Extend the Economic Development Act (Chapter 313) of the Texas Tax Code (set to expire in 2023)
  • Ensure that revenues received from 313 Agreements remain  outside of the Foundation School Program funding formula

To date, two bills have been filed that simply continue the program for another ten years.  We are expecting a more comprehensive, 50+ page bill to be filed this week.  Advocates working in support of the legislative position of Texas Schools for Economic Development (TSED) have been conferring with key lawmakers and relevant stakeholders.  We anticipate, for example, that State Representative Jim Murphy will soon file a bill that would make significant changes to many parts of Chapter 313.  Accordingly, experienced advocates will work to amend that specific legislation and other bills to protect your interests.  As soon as the bills are filed we will send them to you with our concerns and comments.  We will also post updates at our TSED.US website.

TSED is committed to effectively advocating on behalf of school districts across the state who benefit from Chapter 313 Agreements.  We help superintendents, school districts, and interested businesses speak with a unified voice in Austin.
Please consider the following Call to Action:

  1. Reach out to your State Representatives and State Senators and schedule a WebEx, Google, Zoom, or other video during the month of February.  Consider including the president of your school board and business manager on the video call, along with any other relevant community leaders who benefit from economic development.
  2. Substantively, feel free to discuss any matters of interest to your ISD and education community. However, please stress and underscore that you want the legislators to extend the expiration year of Tax Code Chapter 313 to calendar 2029.  You also want to request that the legislature prevent harmful changes that would make the program unworkable by decreasing the benefit to school districts.
  3. Procedurally, you can let the legislators know that you look forward to following up with them as the legislative session continues.  This will set the expectation for future positive communication.

Separately, as a data resource, the Texas Comptroller just published his 2021 biennial report, providing the most up-to-date data and analysis on the Chapter 313 Agreements that allow public school districts to offer tax incentives for businesses making large capital investments and create jobs for Texans.

With increasing pace as the legislative session proceeds during coming months, we will suggest additional Calls To Action that will be helpful for your district.  As always, the board of directors and staff at Texas Schools for Economic Development will closely monitor Chapter 313 legislation, public policy, and related matters that are of interest to you.