Button, Angie Chen
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 11/21/2014
Chapter 313 Audit Report Reveals Areas for Improvement
"The Audit Report on Chapter 313 agreements reveals areas for improvement," stated the Chair of the Select Committee on Economic Development incentives, Angie Chen Button (Garland). From its inception in 2001, local school districts have agreed to provide over $2 billion in reduced appraisals and property tax exemptions to companies. This economic development tool is widely used throughout Texas with the intended purpose to create jobs and bolster the Texas Economy. But is it being used correctly?
Chairwoman Button believes we can do better. She agrees with the findings in the report that the process must be more transparent. For example, members of the school board and their staff should be required to reveal any conflicts of interest, as they are the ones ultimately deciding to approve projects. Additionally, there is no verification process in place for the school districts to confirm that the company is living up to their end of the bargain in job creation. "There is a great deal of money on the table surrounding these agreements. As stewards of tax payer dollars, we must ensure that there is a return on our investment," stated Chairwoman Button.
The report also mentions a case where an existing Ch. 313 agreement was transferred to an existing company. The intent of Chapter 313 agreements is to create jobs. The Select Committee on Economic Development Incentives has been studying the various economic incentive programs in Texas and is expected to issue a report on their findings prior to the beginning of the 84th legislative session.
Currently serving her third term in the Texas House of Representatives, Representative Angie Chen Button serves portions of Garland, Richardson, Sachse, and Rowlett in Dallas County.