Regional
11:08 am
Tue January 4, 2011

Change For Texas Tax Breaks?

Texas – A report by the Legislative Budget Board recommends the state's comptroller, not local school districts, be in charge of negotiating school property tax breaks for businesses to attract big investments.

The Austin American Statesman reported, for its Tuesday editions, that examples of large-scale investments are wind farms or manufacturing plants.

The report says: "School districts should not be made responsible for economic development."

Texas lawmakers who convene next Tuesday face a projected budget shortfall of as much as $20 billion.

Current Texas law allows school boards to negotiate and approve the deals, which the state then reviews.

The 2001 Legislature passed the Texas Economic Development Act because the state's heavy reliance on property taxes was making it difficult to attract large industrial projects, for which property taxes are a major expense.

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Information from: Austin American-Statesman, http://www.statesman.com

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.