“Last year, we had somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 companies that relocated to Austin ... 60 companies that made major expansions for jobs, of those, one got an incentive -- Merck,” said Scheberle.
It was the first incentive agreement in Austin in four years. Currently, the city has eight active incentive agreements -- paying out $11,507,810 last year in tax incentives, rebates and fee waivers. Those eight include: Advisory Board Company, Hanger, HID Global, Merck, Samsung, Visa, Domain and Apple. Those big companies promise to hire local workers at higher wages or agree to make investments in Austin -- even draw other companies in.
“We do not provide any incentive until after we've seen performance,” said David Colligan, who is the manager of global business expansion for the city of Austin Economic Development Department.
It's Colligan's job to help bring those big businesses to Austin.
Austin is not alone in offering incentives. The Texas Enterprise Fund has awarded $609 million since 2004.
According to the governor’s office, there are currently 29 projects in the Central Texas region that were awarded $128.62 million.
So why not offer incentives to smaller locally owned businesses?
Click here for a detailed summary of local incentives offered in Austin and the surrounding areas.