Texas top state for corporate expansions for fifth consecutive year
Texas has been named a top state for new and expanded corporate facilities once again, according to Site Selection magazine.
The magazine’s two Governor’s Cups for 2016 went to Texas for the most qualified projects of any state and Nebraska, which won in the per capita category. The Houston and Dallas metro areas also were recognized on a top-10 list, but Austin didn’t make that cut.
By sheer number of projects, Texas was No. 1 by a wide margin. Site Selection recorded 642 qualified projects in the Lone Star State, followed by Ohio at 515. This is Texas’ fifth consecutive Cup since overtaking Ohio in 2009, according to the magazine. Texas maintained its No. 1 ranking even during the energy downturn, Site Selection noted.
“The reason is we have continued to diversify our economy in areas and sectors that have nothing to do with energy,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told Site Selection. “The high-tech sector is in high growth in Texas, and our health care sector and innovation in life sciences are growing very rapidly. These are areas that, because they are sectors of the American economy that are growing so rapidly, will continue to spur our economy.”
Site Selection lists the 25 largest projects announced for Texas in 2016 by capital investment, and some of the top are along the Gulf Coast, including Exxon Mobil Corp.’s (NYSE: XOM) multiple Beaumont expansions, LyondellBasell Industries’ (NYSE: LYB) La Porte expansions and Gunvor USA’s new Houston presence.
Many of the 25 largest projects in Texas include Tax Code Chapter 313 agreements, which allows local school districts to strike deals with corporations on behalf of the state, lowering a company’s property tax obligations in exchange for jobs and major investments in manufacturing, renewable energy and research infrastructure. There are 311 active Chapter 313 agreements in Texas, according to the Texas Comptroller’s Office.
Among metropolitan areas with populations of more than 1 million, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land rank second and third, respectively. The Dallas area logged 231 qualified projects last year, and Houston recorded 210. The Chicago metropolitan statistical area took the No. 1 spot, with 424 projects, but the New York City MSA was a distant fourth, with 160.
Source: Austin Business Journal
Olivia Pulsinelli, Senior Web Editor