One of the best ways to make Austin more affordable is to ensure we have a diverse set of industries which provide local, skilled and the hard-to-employ talent the opportunity to compete for jobs that have a career ladder. The Austin City Council is considering adopting a revised economic incentive policy, expanding the previous one-size-fits-all policy. If the Austin Chamber of Commerce presents a company that meets the criteria for an incentive as set by City Council policy, will you vote to support incentivizing jobs for both small operators and large in our city? How will you monitor success with the provision requiring employment of the hard-to-employ?

Todd Phelps


Incentives need to be handled very carefully. The soccer stadium deal is the type of incentive that I would not support. It is for an out of town for profit business and certainly does not bring the benefits that should be received by taxpayers for the largest incentive package in Austin’s history according to Council Member Pool. A poll conducted by Strategic Research Associates LLC in May of 2018 of 600 registered voters showed that 87% percent of the respondents felt that the Stadium should pay property taxes. Austin residents as a whole do not support tax incentives. Almost all businesses would thrive if they did not pay property taxes. Before we openly recruit more businesses and more people to the area, we must address infrastructure insufficiencies. It is desirable to have a diversified economy which provides wide range of jobs. If there were a company that provided niche services and/or employment opportunities that were sorely needed, I would consider incentives. I would not favor bringing in companies with incentives that directly compete with our local businesses that have paid property taxes for years. This is simply not fair. All incentive packages need to have strict enforcement clauses. The city must have access to all records that are necessary to evaluate compliance with incentive agreements and there must be meaningful ways to bring the incentivized business into compliance. If that is not possible, no incentives should be granted. All incentive contracts should be brought to the Council for approval and not delegated to staff for approval.