LTTE- Chevron Phillips

Published 9:33 pm Monday, July 1, 2019

Chevron Phillips had requested deannexation for a portion of property for a proposed $5.8 billion ethylene plant that is currently within the Orange city limits. The County is all set to do whatever it takes. CP wants to enter into a tax abatement contract with both the city and the county.

CP has said it will create 300 full-time positions and 200 full-time contractor positions. The city and the county need to nail down how long the 500 jobs are guaranteed. Hopefully, they are guaranteed for the life of the abatement contract.

If they are not – both municipalities need to ask, why are they not guaranteed for the life of the abatement contract. It would appear to be good business to exactly how many permanent positions are guaranteed. A guaranteed minimum job clause – permanent positions. With the growth of robotics, automation and AI, its possible to drastically reduce full-time positions, robots, automation, and AI, does not pay taxes, people do.

Property tax relief enacted by the recent Texas House and Senate is not going to be enough to offset future increased assessments. So the tax burden remains on and trickles down to current property owners, and business owners, most of which get no abatements. Other recent changes in or pending, may give larger taxpayers and Corporations more leeway to contest prior assessments. While remaining difficult for the homeowners to contest.

Large sums of contested tax dispute money, badly needed by schools, counties, and cities, could be tied up, making budgets and projections near impossible.

It will take a lot of new permanent good-paying jobs. To buy homes within the county and cities, to offset abatements on $5.8 billion of industrial assessment.

U.S. Corporations currently enjoy the lowest tax rates in history. Sixty fortune 500 companies paid zero income taxes last year. Including one with an income of $10.8 billion. In addition to cuts at the state level. $6 billion a big investment, no disputes there. You take out all the revenue that $6 billion generates, jobs become the only redeeming factor. How much of the initial $5.8 billion will be spent in Orange County? Estimates on the money trail put 90-95 percent of the plant materials from out of the county. Construction labor should be a short term boost, again what’s the in county percentage? It’s good paying permanent jobs that buy houses, cars and pay sales, school, and municipal taxes. That’s why the job guarantees throughout the entire abatement are critical. Putting people before abatements is not socialism, rather capitalism done right.


Hazen Kenney