CM Zimmerman’s Shortsighted and Misguided Chapter 380 Idea

Updated on Sept 10th 2015 to add a link to a short city presentation about Chapter 380 agreements.

CM Zimmerman’s latest machinations are an attack on Austin’s eight existing Chapter 380 agreements with companies Austin recruited to the area. His plan is for Austin to reduce its agreed payments to those eight companies by 50% for one year. The “savings” would be given back to property owners, including businesses, via a lower tax rate for one year only. The typical homeowner wouldn’t see much in savings — just a few bucks spread out over the course of a year.

Economic development can be an easy thing to attack when times are good. Chapter 380 economic development agreements, fee waivers, and so forth look like corporate welfare & wasteful spending. While reducing spending and the associated taxes is a laudable goal, defaulting on our Chapter 380 economic development agreements with 8 companies is extremely shortsighted and misguided.

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