TPPF Policy Orientation Panel:
Economic Development: On the Backs of the Taxpayers or by their Bootstraps?!?
James Quintero (TPPF); Carlton Schwab (Texas Economic Development Council); Benjamin Powell (Free Market Institute at Texas Tech University); Bennett Sandlin (Texas Municipal League); Art Martinez de Vara (Mayor, von Ormy, Texas)
- The legislation that enables local 'economic development' sales tax abatements was passed by Bill Ratliff in the early 1990's.
- Personal Note: That Bill Ratliff is the originator of this policy tells you everything you need to know.
- Those who do the best are the ones who interfere in their economies the least.
- Planners don't know what industries to promote.
- All economic developments are either redundant or failures.
- Texas is one of the freest states in the U.S., which is why we're one of the most prosperous.
- Local 'economic development': "Give nothing a chance!!!"
- Eminent domain for 'economic development' is "inefficient and evil."
- Keep taxes low, secure people and property rights, and get out of the way.
- Economic development is ok at the local level, but not at a higher level of govt.
- Suburb southwest of San Antonio.
- "We've decided to structurally compete with San Antonio" instead of giving traditional 'economic development' subsidies.
- Most Hispanic city in Bexar county
- Changing the way local government works:
- Zero cost permitting.
- Eliminated mass transit sales tax.
- Minimal regulatory environment.
- Virtual City Hall
- City Marshall Office, no police dept. (24 volunteers)
- Non-Profit partnership for Animal control
- Big issue in rural areas
- Only city in Bexar county that allows fireworks.
- No gun restrictions
- No nighttime curfew.
- You can smoke a cigar and drink a large soda.
- Recruited charter schools as an alternative to government schools.
- Fiscal Responsibility
- Zero based budgeting
- No debt
- Sales Tax revenue up 45% in 2013
- Up 260% since 2010
- Property tax rates down 45% since 2010.
- Tax rate less than 2% of San Antonio.
- Very organic, bottom-up, approach
- Julian Castro's admin uses their utility payments to subsidize 'economic development' in San Antonio at the expense of their city.